Port Hueneme Providing Relief for Congestion at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach; Kristin Decas Discusses
- by Anne Allen
PORT HUENEME, CA - As we here at AndNowUKnow have reported over the past few weeks, the challenges surrounding shipping containers and port congestion have persisted, leading some ships to think out of the box to unload cargo. With the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach experiencing backlogs, ships that are unable to wait are moving north up the coast of California to Port Hueneme to dock.
“When cargo comes from Asia to trans-shipment hubs in South America, it can jump on a ship and come up to Hueneme that way,” said Chief Executive Officer and Port Director Kristin Decas to CBSLA. “We’re also seeing some smaller size vessel charter ships out of smaller niche shipping lines in Asia and bring their cargo here this way.”
Located near Oxnard, California, Port Hueneme may be familiar to some in our industry as it usually handles cargo like bananas and other fresh produce, along with cars and fertilizer. However, according to the same report from CBSLA, the port is now acting as a relief valve for congestion for backlogged ports down south.
Additionally, some vessels have opted to unload all of their containers at the Port of Hueneme as a way to avoid larger ports all together.
“...There’s so much money being made on import cargo that, a lot of times, the export cargo gets left behind, and we’re seeing those containers come here to Port Hueneme and be able to get on ships and move to South America trade lanes,” added Decas. “In fact, just this first quarter alone, our export volume is up 219 percent.”
Through the use of mobile harbor cranes, the Port of Hueneme is able to offload and onload containers from vessels and gives them more flexibility to offload different types of cargo. The port also operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, minimizing congestion—a strategy that President Biden recently announced regarding the Port of Los Angeles and was already in effect at the Port of Long Beach.
“We bring a container in. It gets checked in. It gets put on a chassis and then it goes out to a distribution facility outside the gate where it gets inspected by customs there. Hence, you don’t have bottlenecking here inside the gate and at the gate of the port,” Decas explained.
As the supply chain challenges being faced by buyers and suppliers continue, what other methods will present themselves as ways to bypass port congestion? AndNowUKnow will bring you the latest answers.