The ports continue to be congested over here on the West Coast, trickling throughout the supply chain as the industry moves toward the holidays, as we reported last week. With both Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports in California experiencing backlogs, ships are now moving up north 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 typically handles cargo like fresh produce, cars, and fertilizer, reported CBSLA. Now, the port is acting as a relief valve for congestion as waiting cargo ships can dock a few hours away.
Additionally, some vessels have opted to unload all of their containers at the Port of Hueneme as a way to avoid larger ports altogether.
“...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 load and offload 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—which would come as a relief to the shipping bottleneck currently going on.
“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.
Keep a watch on Deli Market News as we report on the movements in our industry.