Driven by intensifying gridlocks, the Californian twin ports Los Angeles and Long Beach have put in place contingency plans should their anchorages fill up.
According to Vessel Traffic Service of Los Angeles & Long Beach, contingency anchorages will be opened up if all the regular anchorages become fully occupied.
Should the additional ones fill up as well, pre-planned Drift Boxes offshore, which were used during the congestion experienced at the ports in 2004, will be made available as well.
The decision to offer alternative anchorages comes in the wake of U.S. West Coast marine terminals’ announcement that they would suspend vessel operations to concentrate on clearing containers from the dangerously congested facilities.
Based on 2014 figures, the last year was the third busiest in Long Beach and Los Angeles respective port histories, despite the congestion issues that have plagued the West Coast ports for the last eight months.
Marine terminals continue to experience severe congestion, which the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) says is a result of on-going International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) slowdowns.
Contract negotiations between the PMA and ILWU – now in their ninth month – continue to drag on despite the involvement of a federal mediator.