Largest U.S. Ports Struggle with Infrastructure

The International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have agreed to hire up to 2,000 new dock workers, but it won't help.

David Arian, President of the ILWU Local 13 said, "The real problem is infrastructure; the rails are backed up. Lack of equipment, particularly chassis and trucks, limitations of land space, and questions of security have to be looked at in order to move cargo through the ports."

Since the beginning of the month (ISPS- July 1st), there have been 14-15 ships in the outer anchorage waiting to gain access to the port, reports Dick McKenna, Deputy Director of the Marine Exchange of LA/LB.

"We've had as many as 20 in the outer anchorage over the last several weeks," McKenna said.

The cargo congestion at LA/LB is attributed to the lack of manpower to work the ships, problems at the railheads, and the increase of inbound ships from Asia, and particularly for China.

PMA says that its projected increase of cargo of 5 percent this year has, in fact, been doubled.