As port freight continues to rise, so do containers, double-parked trucks in nearby Wilmington – Daily Breeze
Stacks of shipping containers seem to be everywhere:
On board ships. At overcrowded terminals. In overcrowded warehouses.
And now, says a Los Angeles port superintendent, in a few streets of Wilmington.
Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares, a native of Wilmington, raised the issue at a recent board meeting and said that more enforcement action was needed as containers got into the neighborhood as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with cargo in excess of a year are busy increase that has led to a bottleneck in the supply chain. So severe was this traffic jam that President Joe Biden stepped in, which led him to announce last week that the Port of LA would be operating around the clock.
The piling up of freight containers was annoyed by the shrinking warehouse space. Empty containers – of which there are many due to a persistent trade imbalance – must also be shipped back to Asia. But until then, they’ll be pushed through the port facilities in search of space.
And in some cases, they pile up on lots in the surrounding communities.
The prolonged mixing can sometimes result in containers unhitched on the streets of the city, Moreno-Linares said.
That was the case on Thursday evening, October 14th, when a hibiscus red container blocked a lane on McFarland Avenue.
McFarland, along with the intersecting Anaheim Street, is a particular hotspot, Moreno-Linares said. She actually saw trucks parked twice on both thoroughfares on a Saturday morning, the commissioner said.
“We have all seen an increase in the number of containers,” Moreno-Linares said at the Los Angeles Port Commissioners’ meeting last week. “You’re not in a warehouse; They sit in every free space and that might be ok, but also in the middle of the street.
“Some of the lots use roads to stage the containers moving in and out,” she added, “and those of us who drive (the roads) are stuck.”
While ports do not control these lots, Moreno-Linares said, the backlog in recent months has “really added to the burden that local communities, and certainly Wilmington, have always had to bear in terms of trucking.
At least in the past, she said, the traffic jam came from trucks going somewhere.
But now, according to Moreno-Linares, the storage is “happening everywhere”.
A port spokesman said the containers were “most likely empties”.
Moreno-Linares has called for better enforcement. There should be coordination between the city’s code enforcement team and the Port of Los Angeles police force, she said.
“This problem is a consequence of the growth of this port,” she said. “It just has an impact on everyday people.”
Los Angeles Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said reducing the impact on neighborhoods around the port is a “high priority”.
“I just met with a lot of Wilmington people in the Wilmington Chamber this week,” Seroka said, urging people to report problem areas. “These people repeat what you say. The mayor (Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti) and I were on the phone the other day and he said that he too saw containers parked on the side of the road, be it in the (San Fernando) Valley or Wilmington, it doesn’t matter.
“We need to keep flagging those areas where there are bottlenecks,” added Seroka.
LA city councilor Joe Buscaino, meanwhile, said in a statement following Biden’s announcement that the move to 24/7 operations could further affect neighboring communities as well.
The Wilmington Neighborhood Council said at a Port Commission meeting on Jan.
“We suffer the most from the effects,” said Gina Martinez, Chair of the Neighborhood Council, during the meeting. She asked for better communication between the port and the neighbors.
However, the commissioners noted that there are numerous opportunities for individuals and groups to communicate with the port, including a monthly time that Seroka allows for meetings with the leaders of the area’s neighborhood councils, as well as individual meetings that are requested with the commissioners can.
One of the complaints Martinez made at that meeting was the storage space for trucks and shipping containers, which is increasing due to the booming port business. Health problems, blocked views, and damage to roads and streets were other issues that came up.
Moreno-Linares also called for better enforcement of trucks driving on roads they shouldn’t be in a recent phone interview. The heavily loaded trucks carrying containers from the port must be parked on designated roads within Wilmington parish, she said.
Too often, said Moreno-Linares, they are spotted in closer neighborhood streets. The massive vehicles rumbling along narrow streets surrounded by houses are not only annoying, but also dangerous for other drivers and pedestrians.
Freight unloaded from ships “has to get to stores and other destinations, I understand,” said Moreno-Linares. “But that’s why we have designated (truck) corridors. We have to do a better job. “
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