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Yesterday I rented a boat and took the leader of one of Flexport's partners in Long Beach on a 3 hour of the port complex. Here's a thread about what I learned.
2,666 replies and sub-replies as of Oct 23 2021

First off, the boat captain said we were the first company to ever rent his boat to tour the port to see how everything was working up close. His usual business is doing memorial services at sea. He said we were a lot more fun than his regular customers.
The ports of LA/Long Beach are at a standstill. In a full 3 hour loop through the port complex, passing every single terminal, we saw less than a dozen containers get unloaded.
There are hundreds of cranes. I counted only ~7 that were even operating and those that were seemed to be going pretty slow.
It seems that everyone now agrees that the bottleneck is yard space at the container terminals. The terminals are simply overflowing with containers, which means they no longer have space to take in new containers either from ships or land. It’s a true traffic jam.
Right now if you have a chassis with no empty container on it, you can go pick up containers at any port terminal. However, if you have an empty container on that chassis, they’re not allowing you to return it except on highly restricted basis.
If you can’t get the empty off the chassis, you don’t have a chassis to go pick up the next container. And if nobody goes to pick up the next container, the port remains jammed.
WIth the yards so full, carriers / terminals are being highly restrictive in where and when they will accept empties.
Also containers are not fungible between carriers, so the truckers have to drop their empty off at the right terminal. This is causing empty containers to pile up. This one trucking partner alone has 450 containers sitting on chassis right now (as of 10/21) at his yards.
This is a trucking company with 6 yards that represents 153 owner operator drivers, so he has almost 3 containers sitting on chassis at his yard for every driver on the team.
He can’t take the containers off the chassis because he’s not allowed by the city of Long Beach zoning code to store empty containers more than 2 high in his truck yard. If he violates this code they’ll shut down his yard altogether.
With the chassis all tied up storing empties that can't be returned to the port, there are no chassis available to pick up containers at the port.
And with all the containers piling up in the terminal yard, the longshoremen can’t unload the ships. And so the queue grows longer, with now over 70 ships containing 500,000 containers are waiting off shore. This line is going to get longer not shorter.
This is a negative feedback loop that is rapidly cycling out of control that if it continues unabated will destroy the global economy.
Alright how do we fix this, you ask? Simple. And we can do it fast now,
When you're designing an operation you must choose your bottleneck. If the bottleneck appears somewhere that you didn't choose it, you aren't running an operation. It's running you.
You should always choose the most capital intensive part of the line to be your bottleneck. In a port that's the ship to shore cranes. The cranes should never be unable to run because they're waiting for another part of the operation to catch up.
The bottleneck right now is not the cranes. It's yard space at the container terminals. And it's empty chassis to come clear those containers out.
In operations when a bottleneck appears somewhere that you didn't design for it to appear, you must OVERWHELM THE BOTTLENECK!
Here's a simple plan that @POTUS and @GavinNewsom partnered with the private sector, labor, truckers, and everyone else in the chain must implement TODAY to overwhelm the bottleneck and create yard space at the ports so we can operate against
1) Executive order effective immediately over riding the zoning rules in Long Beach and Los Angeles to allow truck yards to store empty containers up to six high instead of the current limit of 2. Make it temporary for ~120 days.
This will free up tens of thousands of chassis that right now are just storing containers on wheels. Those chassis can immediately be taken to the ports to haul away the containers
2) Bring every container chassis owned by the national guard and the military anywhere in the US to the ports and loan them to the terminals for 180 days.
3) Create a new temporary container yard at a large (need 500+ acres) piece of government land adjacent to an inland rail head within 100 miles of the port complex.
4) Force the railroads to haul all containers to this new site, turn around and come back. No more 1500 mile train journeys to Dallas. We're doing 100 mile shuttles, turning around and doing it again. Truckers will go to this site to get containers instead of the port.
5) Bring in barges and small container ships and start hauling containers out of long beach to other smaller ports that aren't backed up.
This is not a comprehensive list. Please add to it. We don't need to do the best ideas. We need to do ALL the ideas.
We must OVERWHELM THE BOTTLENECK and get these ports working again. I can't stress enough how bad it is for the world economy if the ports don't work. Every company selling physical goods bought or sold internationally will fail.
The circulatory system our globalized economy depends has collapsed. And thanks to the negative feedback loops involved, it's getting worse not better every day that goes by.
I'd be happy to lead this effort for the federal or state government if asked. Leadership is the missing ingredient at this point.
It’s the damn chassis! It’s amazing how simple this really is. Also, not taking empty cans is bananas…they have to be redeployed at some point. Asia is going to be backed up next…no containers 🤷🏻‍♂️. Bananas times we live in 🍌
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Can you do it and ask for permission later?
Excellent summation.
Amtraks rail passes right through Camp Pendleton which is massive, it seems it might’ve been built with this emergency in mind by someone smarter
Heard an interview the other day that containers are actually being left in local neighborhoods right now. These are great thoughts. I hope they get implemented! 🙏
How exciting would the world be if we had leaders that enabled this kind of action. I really hope it happens.
you could try to start a petition to get attention of politicians
Don't know what would be needed for this but auto lots are currently empty or close to it, auto auctions have large locations that, given the vehicle shortage, could likely store empty containers for the foreseeable future.
As a BCO here’s the most fucked up part… steam ship lines are then turning around and charging detention fees when you are late to return a container, which you inevitably will be because there are no appointments
Congratulations @typesfast!! Get it done!
If it were simple, it would have been done. Renting a boat was a waste of time because you only see the supply chain backlog at the port. The backlog is farther down stream with the retailers accepting containers between 8-5.
Ryan this is a fantastic write up! Quick question: won’t we still have a bottleneck with the number of truck drivers? Any proposals to fix that?
Amazing. Can we hire you for the climate crisis? Specifically that part about not doing just the best ideas but all the ideas NOW.
Zero expertise but was driving around port of Oakland last Sunday and it was totally dead, zero activity. Do they not run these ports 7 days?
US went to a five day work week in 1908, by taking off Saturday and Sunday. In 1890, the average worker worked 100 hours per week.
you don’t need the same workers working all 7 days broski, dif workers for dif sets of days…how do you think hospitals or anything else open 7 days a week works?
Too bad we can’t find anyone that wants to work.
Is that really an excuse to fail?
At least one port went to the radical step of "running two shifts" because apparently they weren't?
I don’t know if the track gauges are right, but Anaheim Angels Stadium has a huge, flat parking lot, has rail lines running along the north side of it, and should be pretty empty right now.
About the only non-standard track gauges in the US are narrow-gauge tourist trains and weird systems like SF BART.
Thanks. I don’t know ton about trains.
Good point. I could say the same about the Oakland Coliseum and its access to train tracks. Probably lots of other viable options around major ports.
This needs a marketing campaign to leverage public support. The Battle to Save Xmas
Not familiar with long beach infra, but I presume there must be container depots around. If zoning is changed, even 4 containers on top of it should be fine. 2 seems really restrictive. This alone would double the capacity in existing yards/container depots around the port.
Unfortunately, this problem affects everywhere; our logistics investment in Asia has a model based on utilizing import empties for export, eliminating the empty legs. However, due to container shortage, it's impossible to arrange these round use orders.
Most warehouses around the port should have a 70/30 split, e.g. 30% is yard area. They can certainly spare 10-15% for container storage - logistics operators already do this for their own business.
Soo there's millions of empty containers clogging American ports and Asia is out of containers? Like whats the deal??
It doesn’t seem that restrictive when you remember this is earthquake country. It’s not some random restriction.
Cheers for the breakdown and update Ryan!
Leadership, actually, was missing earlier causing this crises. This is unbelievable to have been allowed to have snowballed to this level in 2021 ! Displays "silo syndrome" at work. I am sure there's a case for claims from authorities that created or perpetuated this crises.
Port Tsar!
Thank you for sharing this experience. As an expert in the field, what is your take on this opinion from Cato that is making the rounds today? Thank you…
+@scottlincicome explains how long-term, systemic problems—and bad U.S. policy—have made the global "shipping crisis" far worse than it could or should have been by exacerbating delays at almost every major U.S. port: #CatoTrade
Neighbor has acres of large empty unpaved lots all over Long Beach / Los Angeles metro. If @POTUS follows Ryan's plan, @neighborstorage will provide emergency yard space for containers and foot the bill. Let's solve this!
Please do. That would be great if you were appointed to lead this. But don’t hold your breath. I think you can pull some strings without an official sanction. We can’t afford to wait for an “approval”
The Flexport guys are all over this - first taco Tuesday and now port tours. Maybe we could store containers in the parking lot of a mall?
The sad part is why can’t LA mayor and CA governor do their job and tour the port like you just did to try and understand the problem and fix it.
Politicians these days are one trick ponies. The skills required to get elected are totally irrelevant to actually solving problems in the real world. Plus, they'll be beholden to some special interest whose toes they would need to step on to get stuff done. Ain't happening.
People: a guy named Ryan just solved the global supply chain disaster. Get on board! (pun). Seriously, industry folks need to solve this now. Long Beach: start by waiving your container stacking rules temporarily.
Do you think it's a good thing that our Secretary of Transportation is on two month paternity leave during this time?
Agree that operational changes must happen. Trying to stuff 1,000 pounds of flour into a 10 pound sack won't work. I'd start with a moratorium on LA/LB so they can dig out. Insane to keep sending ships. Yes, regional destination freight will need to dealt with and can be.
So, where does the volume go? Not easy to answer. Start with the other WC ports that can handle big ships including Van and Rupert. Then look at EC US and Canada via both Panama and Suez. I know this requires massive shifts for the lines but what else is there?
Vessel size is a problem. Severely limits port choice (a root problem). Probably means more Suez routing to EC ports like Halifax, Norfolk, Baltimore, maybe NYNJ, wherever there is fluidity and ability to handle the ships. Other interventions possible but costs are huge.
So, assuming some authority could mandate carriers (rails and MTO's too) to do these things (unprecedented, not likely to happen and maybe no legal basis), who pays? Shippers and consumers shouldn't but we are now. Just look at the rates/liner carrier margins.
At these rates, smaller vessels can run a profit on longer voyages. I think it would be great to see the return of direct container services to the Great Lakes. I believe there is only one such service now but they do not provide equipment so it can be difficult to use.
There is one service, the Cleveland-Europe Express that my port @portofcleveland started. The operator Spliethoff does provide boxes. Recently added a small pure boxship to string. Still a drop in the bucket but it’s the right idea.
Just came across this too. "The Port of Duluth, Minnesota, said it now has the ability to receive international ocean containers, providing inland intermodal shippers the ability to bypass truck and train routes into the US Midwest."…
Seems to me ship lines and rails should pay because they own the problem and they've massively profited form it. Unfair? Isn't this because of Covid demand spike? I'm a contrarian and don't believe the root cause is demand. Demand spike exacerbated and exposed the problem.
Liner industry obsession with scale (mega-ships) at expense of all else a huge factor here. Led to over-concentration in handful of ports and lanes. We're left with a network that has too few nodes and links and little possibility to reroute traffic around bottlenecks.
Returns to scale have limits. Lines have pushed massive costs on ports and landside infra to accommodate mega-ships. Much of this has been publicly funded, hence a subsidy to lines in effect and a double whammy on consumers already paying for all this.
Sure, lines reduced their slot costs on the water but pushed a huge mess onshore as a result. Europe seems to be handling better and I think there are lessons to learn. More nodes, more links, robust short-sea/ feeder/inland waterway use, truckers treated better.
Conclusion: we are in a world of hurt. Effective federal interventions unlikely even if they could figure out what to do and had legal basis. Lines and rails won't do much because not in their financial interest. Even the biggest shippers have limited levers to pull.
Bulldoze everything civilian in the area for more yard space, golf courses, shopping malls, residential neighborhoods. . .
So the root cause of the port logjam is too many empty containers, but you never provide an answer as to why there are so many empty containers and what changed to make it different from normal operations.
Apparently the port worked before due to a mysterious hidden energy we'll call port karma. Like dark matter port karma is hard to detect. When that karma disappeared everything fell apart!
If you import more than you export empty containers pile up. Many have loaded the empties on ships to send back to Asia, but with 70+ ships awaiting to be offloaded and the speed/logistics difficulties of loading empties while using up a dock while other ships wait causes issues
That’s the negative feedback loop they are talking about
lol you think they want to fix this? how cute!
Edwards AFB is about 100 miles away. Massive capacity (300,000 acres).
I dunno if "federal or state government" will see your tweet tho
Lack of leadership on federal level… Unions… Let’s go Brandon….
The just in time everything to support the few that thrive on it's eurnings is a heavy systemfailure.
A truck driver neighbor tells me he cannot go into CA because of emission standards. IF that's true, seems like relaxing those temporarily to get to your 100 miles RR drop off would be a good thing? Thank you for this, and can you possibly unroll?
This is neat and transparent.
Excellent thread and suggestions. Any thoughts on how the bottlenecks built up? Without fully addressing the systemic issues that lead to the current bottlenecks, the proposed solutions may just shift the bottlenecks to new nodes. Even so, fully concur as buying time helps.
Did you ever read The Goal? This sounds literally just like this problems. 🤡
Truckers are indicating that the ban on older trucks and owner operators is why containers are not leaving the ports.
What about drivers? Do we have enough of them?
LA Port Commission is in charge of this isn't it? They approve regulations. According to their website they are volunteers - appointed by Mayor of LA and approved by City Council.…
OMG, this is amazing. Thank you. May I suggest you reach out to Ron Klain?
What fraction of cranes can drop directly onto trains?
Sounds like victorville or the railhead in barstow. Unlimited BLM land nearby. About a 2 hr drive from long beach and the exits from California are nearby. The 15 and the 40
A lot of good thoughts here. Could the Gov of CA declare a state of emergency?
How is this a scenario that was not considered and planned for?
I love your analysis and all your points made. I believe by far though, your last point is the most pertinent. “Leadership is the missing ingredient…”
Just wondering, has anyone bothered to tell Long Beach and LA how their zoning codes are impacting this situation? Often awareness is half the battle.
Here's two more for you...CA suspending electric truck rule requirements and fixing law 5A (?) which is effecting independent truck haulers.
Would be happy to join you. Glad Flexport is leading on these issues that have real impact on businesses and consumers.
You get the leaders you deserve.
Having worked for a container trading/modification shop (and having visited CA & BC ports with my dad during the 1971 port strike), I love this thread and your solutions. It’s pretty arcane stuff to everyday Americans, but🤞your plan gets traction.
Fantastic breakdown. I sell bottles to wineries and our containers are stuck (we also pull from Oakland) I have been telling clients for the last 18 months that doomsday is here and get glass today if you can take it. We need as many trucks (with chassis) as possible to run 24/7.
There is so much open desert surrounding LA this should be more than doable. If the US Military can build instant cities in the desert, a temporary container yard should be easy!
Fascinating time to be working in supply chain and your approach is absolutely spot on. Hands on & moving forward. Love to see it resolve soon
If only there were train yards in the ports that could haul away huge amounts of goods.
Sounds like a job for trump and everyone on the planet knows it
The chance that the Governor of California and/or POTUS will take this type of action is Zero. With a capital Z. Lack of foresight, understanding of the real world, political will, and just plain common sense combine to ensure that REAL action is impossible.
“Leadership is the missing ingredient” will be a re-occurring theme for the rest of his presidency. 😢 Read the 🧵 journalists! 📢 @MZHemingway @megynkelly @GovRonDeSantis
Yeah, the last guy was a leadership genius…. /s
Is there ANY indication that federal or state governments are even spending time on this?
Good thing we’ve got @PeteButtigieg @POTUS @GavinNewsom at the helm instead of someone like this! #sarcasm
Joe Biden and a Gavin Newsom aren't going to do anything you've suggested. Their goals don't align with yours
just one question: are you planning to take any paternity leave in the next 6 to 9 months?
Thank you mr Peterson. As an engineer in a different field (software) who enjoys complexity management, your solutions are absolutely brilliant and we would only need a few to solve the issue. I hope they hear you.
His solutions, if correct, are actually practical and simple. If he is correct it appears to be regulatory red tape causing this mess. What the actual f*ck! Our brilliant government at work again.
This is all based on the assumption that the administration wants to relieve this bottleneck. Check your heuristics
agree on leadership and it seems that you are not on paternity leave @USDOT #AmateurHour
assign your job to someone competent
You have my vote sir!
Does no one read "The Goal" anymore? Or study the theory of constraints and bottlenecks. Your suggestions are good, but I don't think the bureaucracies can change enough to allow it (local, state, federal, and union).
Now a suggestion that I didn't see (or missed). Can CARB rules be overruled so more trucks can come in, even if temporarily? Would trailers still be the constraint?
The Commander in Chief can make any type of order in relation to the military. They can take over land temporarily (or permanently) if need be.
Did you know Oakland, Portland, and Seattle also have ports?
there's a yuuge yard of empty shipping containers I see from the @metrolosangeles train near the Del Amo station, looked at it dozens of times, but now I can't remember if they're stacked only two containers high 🤷🏻‍♂️ @LongBeachMayor
do you know this dude? Please tap into him and not in the biblical sense
Very good common sense plan! Are you a logistics planner? If only someone wanted to make situation better? Here is a legitimate plan that will make a almost immediate impact and can be implemented easily. @WhiteHouse @JoeBiden
Thanks for doing what men do: solving complex problems.
Road freight and specially shipping overseas requires long term planning, complex, scheduling, financing, insuring, storage, stock, preventing supply manipulation etc. It will never be perfect. Suggested solutions for long term; see next post:
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You’re the man, Ryan! We all want this to be resolved eventually. In the meantime, $ZIM is an amazing play in my opinion. Happy to chat #shipping stocks if you have any interest.
God, the man is trying to solve the supply chain crisis and you're here trying to pump some shitty stock.
Seriously? I've been talking about the looming supply chain problems for 13-14 months now...
He’s probably mad they are dumping containers on his front lawn down in California. 😹😹😹
It’s not ‘some shitty stock’ either… It is *the* stock to own right now on this theme….
Seems like the perfect example of what the DPA and the national guard/military are made for @POTUS @GavinNewsom
how about storing the empties somewhere on federal land in the desert temporarily ?
Can’t they utilize mall parking lots for container storage? Most sit empty and unused and port towns tend to have many dying malls.
1. Hyperloop networks in the ocean. <att><Musk><add more> 2. Sustainable airfreight fuel.* 3. Faster airtravel and sustainable rocket loops for “Just In Time-delivery”, with less scheduling issues.<att><MuskStarship><self.att> desired application earlier communicated for Cargo.
Unless they want to destroy the economy???
What about their wages?
But what happens normally with the empty containers? Why is that now a problem?
The empty containers are normally returned to the port where they can be stored and reused—since there’s no space for them, they can’t be returned, so the chassis they’re on can’t be freed to pick up another, full container.
Ryan Petersen for POTUS!
Send the stow plan on the ship via EDI to Navus before arrival, ports can leverage the data and allow for port ops to schedule appointments with truckers/customers, call truckers in an appt window. Less port congestion, more yard space, less idle truck time
Challenge is aligning containers to customers to port ops to trucker data. Maybe a use case for blockchain?
If you're saying the crane is the bottleneck, you need to maximize crane efficiency, reduce crane moves. If the crane is digging through stacks to pull boxes while your trucks wait, or a crane is waiting for a truck to pull up, your throughput drops to almost 0.
You might as well appeal to a thunderstorm.
You'd likely have issues overriding local zoning ordinances with an executive order, but you *could* just allow any company to store empties as high as you pleased on federal land AND compensate them for doing so
Brilliant. Sounds like you'd make a brilliant @USDOT secretary since our current one is nowhere to be found.
<att><RP><Taking initiative to form and lead a committee; problem analysis and ideas and proposals for solutions; allowing a broad program of actions to be collaborated> <self.att><attribute proposal as useful, valuable example analysis, proposal, and initiative><convert2Govner>
California will not allow trucks older than 2014 to operate in the docks due to emissions regulations. It used to be 2007. This rule could be suspended at least temporary. There are also plenty of trucks outside California available to help but can’t due to Cali regulations.
HELLUVA thread. About 3 tweets in my wife said "oh this guy is talking Lean here."
Excellent info. Thanks!
Why don’t shipping companies use other ports on the west coast? The longer trip should still be faster than waiting for days at shore of LA right?
Happy to license you “ƒRP”should you accept the attributions, convert them into startup Govners, take accountability for attributing other ideas and appointing executive firms to execute for trial-, error-, progress- and result-attributions, for which you are auto-attributed >
<att><PaulGraham><Informant of tweet of RP>
Isn’t there a humongous intermodal exchange just over by Apple Valley? With BNSF and UP yards that are hundreds of acres?
we need to do something before it is too late
Excellent synopsis of the problem and potential solutions you offered. For some reason I just don't think they're going to take your advice and leverage this crisis to their advantage. Good job anyway.
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Meanwhile raise interest rates / stop QE to curb demand. This here to is the root cause for the jam 👇
The carbon footprint your plan would create is too large, we must consider the effects of climate change in solving this issue.
Why not sell them for $1 to people that want to build houses? kill 2 birds with one stone.
Forgot one bottleneck, who will drive those trucks?
I've long maintained that the root cause of any news story is a lack of leadership. That was why this book was written. Clearly, both leadership development & leadership selection are badly flawed on a global level. Let's find the leaders to fix this. I'll make myself available.
The empties should be placed back on dedicated ship and moved up to the old Alameda air station. Plenty of room and need hardware on site.
It is a relief to hear concrete ideas about how to untangle this snarl. I cringe whenever I find freight has been booked to LA/LB. We have one container on a ship that has been off the coast for days, and isn't expected to be able to dock for another week. @POTUS please listen!
the issue is that those in charge want the system to collapse so they can rebuild a dystopian surveillance state on the ashes.
you should lead it. no idea who you are but yeah you are the man for the job.
How many of the containers are from chinese embargo? I know Portland almost wound up with the same mess from a chinese carrier after embargo-is this any part of the equation and if so when can the Port as in Portland begin selling them off?
lmao this is so good.
Ryan Petersen = Tyler Durdan
Where did u get Lisan al Ghaib from? 😁 It’s the epithet of Hafiz, the 14-century Persian poet.
Hafez - Wikipedia
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I turn to face my fear, and only a crane bottleneck remains
The containers must flow.
fear is the supply chain killer
I can’t wait to see the Netflix movie of this where Hayden Christensen plays you saving all of our collective supply chains
Send the spice containers nearby on the Kwisatz Haderach railroad
Great 🧵. Thanks.
Your heart is in the right place but I think collapse and despair is the feature of this administration not a bug.
Why arent railroads hauling containers to their inland freight terminals? They can stack empty containers there until they are needed again.
We need your help for sure. Unfortunately the transportation Sec is still on maternity leave, last seen on a swing in his backyard.
Last reports I heard fron the Producing Countries empties are missing there. Ship the empties there. Organise to sell the empties at travel cost to there. Restart the circulation its a worldwide economic system.
Wait. The Port of LB already moves containers by rail out away from the port to larger unconstricted distribution centers. What happened to that?
Or . . . Why not buy stuff #MadeinAmerica . No ports needed.
Great thread!
Leadership is lacking in the government. The people who have worked those docks and spent careers doing logistics know the issues. I bet I could find a longshoreman with a plan to solve this that would work. It’s not planning it’s ability to execute through tremendous red tape!
Sure but then Mayor Pete would have to come back from paternity leave!
Great to hear a proposal that could help break the container jam. FYI Another article I read, written by a trucker, says that trucks and drivers are waiting for two to three hours for a load. They are seeing crane operators take two hour lunches, & moving containers real slow.
Great thread, thanks! Wonder if you or others could look at the queuing theory aspects, how slight overloads cascade into gridlock And how it was the Port—which must’ve had SOMEBODY on-staff who knows more than a bit about how things could spiral—let it happen?
How about priority for ships willing to unload and reload with empty containers ?
Chassis can’t move on their own, you need truck drivers
Why not require any inbound shipping to leave with as many (or more) containers than they brought (even if empty)?
Hey Ryan, not sure if you remember me (friend of Bryant W). Have you spoken to WH staff on this? I can get you a connect.
You love to see solutions at work. God speed gentlemen.
Thank you for explaining the situation. Please correct me of I'm wrong, there's obviously solutions to this port congestion issue but why is it so difficult to get things done whenever we deal with anything that's infrastructure related?
This thread exemplifies leadership and unparalleled problem solving ability in ops & logistics that few understand ☝️☝️☝️ 👏👏 🦾🦾 go for it!
very weird. because i have heard there is a container shortage. WT
Everyone - please retweet this - this news has to go viral to get something accomplished.
What about making containers fungible? They are identical metal boxes, after all.
Very enjoyable read. But you know who you are dealing with right? The same guy who jumped out of afghanistan...
Please flood @PeteButtigieg and co with this until they respond appropriately. Excellent breakdown.
You missed one, have Gavin reverse his ridiculous rule barring independent owner/operators from picking up containers at Cali ports.
This is not going to happen. Which means doing their job for them. That may put up a lot of red flags for people, but that's how delegation works. At this point, the relevant elected officials have been given every opportunity to do their job. 1/2
However politicians are usually very responsive to their top donors who presumably are going to be severely impacted by this. Any guess why there is still a lack of leadership despite that?
It's amazing how little will there seems to be to implement such simple solutions.
Well done Ryan. Just FWIW: This is an excellent example of the consequence of the 'demilitarization', (which can rapidly respond with men and equipment outside of economic constraints) into bureaucracies that can't. See the failures of Borders, Disasters, Disease, now Trade.
1. How about each shipping line send a couple ships over that do nothing except take empties 2. Loads still take forever to get unloaded at the warehouses because nobody is working to unload them
Activate armed forces reserves and allow unused military equipment to transport canisters. Fed government should be allowed to step in since this does effect global economy.
Why? The reserves a are already stretched very thin with commitments. They shouldn’t be used for every little issue that arises especially when nothing else has been tried/ done. There no czar, there’s no meeting of industry, etc.
Because I the end result of all of this is global economic ripples, conflicts could and may arise that would put our troops lives at risk. Depending on whose financial interests are at stake.
Disruptions within one of our major ports could also *potentially* have nat sec implications. I'm sure people much smarter than I am in those areas could come up with more than one scenario that could easily become a reality.
So urgent that the Secretary of Transportation can’t or won’t return early from his paternity leave. If isn’t an emergency for the person that’s supposed to leading the effort to fix the issue, then it’s not an issue for the reserves yet.
That's the best you have? That argument is weaker than weak.
It’s a responsibility of the Sec of DOT. If the sec won’t lead, and have other priorities maybe they should excuse themselves after all it’s National Security, right? Thousands reservist civilian livelihoods and households be affected for the “tragedy of delayed treadmills.”
Are other ports like San Francisco experiencing problems?
Official Response: Thanks for your thoughtful plan, please call us back in January, the guy in charge is busy
Great thread Thank You
Awesome assessment of the problem. How can I help to get this to the right people?
get this guy working on this problem, now!
Long term, rebuilding the rail network to create hubs away from the port seems like a good idea, though financially I can't imagine anyone taking that on these days
Pretty sure this is a now deliberate feature and not a flaw considering the geopolitical zeitgeist with the dollar hegemony at stake.
* cough * Beirut. * cough *
The election is not until 2024.
I know ships have been coming to San Diego for off-loading. The other problem is truck drivers hours or service (HOS). Truckers can only drive for so many hours, and be on-duty for so many hours. Unless, the FMCSA changed this, then there a problem.
This is a great synopsis, yet seems still symptomatic. Have you encountered any data or studies about the current trucking environment, driver morale, pay & retention?
You’ve already proven via Twitter explanations more capable of problem solving, than most in govt. I hope you are provided opportunity to be in involved in the solution.
Duh.. who could have guessed, competency is rare these days, especially in government and administration
Always has been the missing ingredient except JFK who the CIA took down for various reasons #Bitcoin
Question: Would selling the empty container's at a discounted rate help or hurt the situation? That could be one alternative if it helps. I personally would love to get ahold of an empty container for making a pool, but they could also kick off a home building trend.
Effective immediately Long Beach is allowing cargo to be stacked up to 4 containers high at container lots across the city. And up to 5 containers with safety approvals. Previously 2 had been the limit. This is a temporary move to address our national supply chain emergency.
Yes 100% a leadership problem.
Sounds well thought through. Probably Twitter isn’t where you should start, of course.
Create a warp speed kind of effort . Good inside and suggestions
Happy to join you on this effort! The government needs all bright supply chain and logistics minds working on this now!
Ryan - you’re amazing! We’re all grateful that you are stepping up to ‘overwhelm this bottleneck’! Bravo! Hoping the Mayor of Long Beach, Newsom, and others will take you up asap! American 🇺🇸 entrepreneur to the rescue!!
Glad to hear @POTUS @VP @WHCOS considering using Military to assist clearing the Ports , most of our Logistics Port units are in the @USArmy the @USNationalGuard work for Governors , WH should ask @US_TRANSCOM to do assessment, not listen to WH interns . @MSNBC @CNN @nytimes
Great thread! But can I trust a “Ryan PetersEN” to lead?!?!? Danish? Idk… I might have to take my chances with global economic collapse thank you! 😉
Can they leave the empty containers in the riverbed and let homeless people shelter in them? That is probably not the best idea.
Incredible - evaluate, understand, strategize, implement. This is what we are missing these days. Great post- hope you are able to go to work.
This is amazing - and not in a good way. Your plan, though, is amazing in a very good way!
Thank you for identifying and articulating this major operational problem that the government will definitely not solve because they can’t put competent people like you in charge
But, who needs infrastructure.
Go man go!!!!!
I'm pretty much in love with you because of this thread. I hope someone who needs to see it does (or many who need to see it do).
Great thread…and nightmare fuel about the economy
I think Long Beach has just cancelled the stacking limits. A small start.
Thank you! It all makes sense now and I have no problem with you running this operation.
Frank Sobatka never would have let this shit happen.
Great thread! Get in touch with David McCarthy, who used to be counsel to the Senate Energy Committee. Trains are his lifelong love. His dad was a railroad exec. He will use your silverware @ dinner to illustrate a spur line routing problem. He can help move containers by rail.
Huge thanks for this!
If this saves Biden's presidency, which saves US democracy, which save human civilization, we owe you big time!
THe Goal - never starve the bottleneck. Thanks for your work!
Whenever non-essential regulations are creating the problem and regulator won’t lift them, I am suspicious
There's plenty of space at the Victorville Airport to store empty containers.
Ok but what if you have an evergrande stranded in the suez?
3rd day in a row Port of Oakland's busiest terminal sits empty - 4 Beth's 10 cranes no ships to work. Between delays and omissions seen 50% reduction in vessel's calling terminal.
My only question after reading all this is- how are you NOT running it right now?!
I hope he sees this bro
This is the result they want
This would have never happened under Trump. That’s all I know.
How busy are the ports in Mexico?
Why was none of this a problem until the past 6-12 months? It doesn’t make sense that everything just stops working all of a sudden.
You obviously are NOT on maternity leave
Port congestion has an inflationary impact. All the above propose re-organising resources to be more efficient in clearing the container traffic jam which would have a deflationary impact. People get too hung up on the Fed & the money supply & not enough on the above.
Yup, @GavinNewsom is not a leader. This backup has been going on since last summer!
Could this surplus of unused containers somehow be converted into housing for unhoused people? Fitted with real doors, electric? 🤔
What a fabulous insight.thankyou. from someone naive this is incredibly eye opening.
I'm a retired supply / logistics officer with many awards under my belt. I also drive forklifts up to 15,000 lbs. I'll come to work for you to get this done.
One more change we need in the future, we need more ports to be able to accept neopanamax sized ships.
You speak of the problem like the government wants to fix it.
The leader went on maternity leave. time for a new one!
So, really, this was caused by SoCal zoning laws.
Thank you for taking action, personally I don’t understand how this isn’t a national emergency and wasn’t escalated months ago, industry wasn’t brought together for a think tank to create ideas, funding, etc. we need action and appreciate you stepping up. it all and actually understood your plan. My contribution: "Where the hell is Marlon Brando when we need him?" A reference that probably will be lost on most for his Academy Award winning appearance in the Academy Award winning 1955 movie "On the Waterfront".
This is by design. They Want to crash the global economy. It’s the great reset. People need to wake up!
Absolutely. Sort of a coronary bypass of containers.
Thank you times infinity because I finally have some hope that there are solutions to this nightmare.
Pleeeaase reach out to the White House about this. Can @PeteButtigieg assist with this?
I'm sure to some degree new tech can help organisation and control of movement in the future also. Look at these crypto projects that would assist; $VET - Vechain $MRPH - Morpheus Network
You are incredible.
This sounds like Atlas Shrugged playing out in real time and you sound like Dagny Taggart just begging the idiots to stop breaking the world. Between the emission standards stopping trucks from coming in to all the problems you mentioned they are breaking us with idiocy.
Good piece Ryan, this is happening in uk but you missed the main culprit. The shipping lines, they are storing empties in port rather than get them where they are needed. Short supply in China higher rates more money. Sea freight is X5 what it was last year
Unless the lines are forced to take containers where they are needed then this will continue. It is more beneficial to pay storage rates on their containers as the higher freight rates compensate and as they don’t own all the containers they do have to pay for half of them!
Take the empties to the desert.
No brainer for the shipping lines. Higher freight less costs for ships as they are not full because there are not enough containers in the tight places! This increases costs and leads to inflation so when prices are higher blame the shipping lines!
Thank you so much!
Thanks for your efforts Ryan. If there is anything the public can do…. Let us know. I’ve got products chilling at sea. As do many people. This is a huge problem!
Did it really take 1 person going through the port to get the executive order through? I can't believe this didn't happen months ago!
Give this man a job!
Why has the cost of containers from overseas to here skyrocketed. $3,000 to $30k. It affects my wife’s retail store… product cost ⬆️⬆️
And it’s been going up like this since early 2021. Before the bottleneck
Great ideas. We import from China. Board games just aren’t made in the US any more, and the few that do are too expensive and THEY can’t get paper 💁🏻‍♀️ I’ll bookmark this and share it with our freight experts and Director of logistics. Thanks!
What a bout newsomes policy taking 20% trucks off the roads, because of....emissions?
Basic question, sorry if it’s too stupid: if there is a shortage in supply, how is that there is no space to allow unload of new cargos arriving? Is it because the idle capacity containers are waiting at the US port for the trip to “China” to get back loaded?
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Absolutely shocking that it takes a private citizen (not a government employee / agency) to observe the ground situation and develop solutions. What exactly have we been paying the Department of Transportation (ahem, @SecretaryPete) to do?!
Ryan, I'm not sure you explained WHY there is no yard space? Did they just get flooded with containers during one event and things spiraled, or is it worker shortage?
Funny how the free market hasn't solved the problem. What happened?
Stop buying Chinese goods ...
Silly question: Why can’t empty ships act as temporary storage for these containers? Obviously someone has to pay “rent”, but better than standstill for everyone, no?
Concludion this hsppens ehen you steal election
I assume returning empty containers effectively represents a loss in itself? Maybe time for emergency subsidy (or levy-financed?) to motivate shipping lines to carry out the task? NTM they also have 'skin in the game' to clear the bottleneck & shippers must be low on containers?
Well done. This is great leadership
The answer is: MEGA TESLA ROBOTS CRANES! Sounds like something @elonmusk could do, he really is up to the task. Also, he will be fixing an problem that @JeffBezos created.
I admire the boldness of your thread entirely omitting the elephant in the room: the fact that drayage trucking in the US is basically modern-day serfdom, meaning everyone who was forced to leave during the slowdown will not return (+ COVID w/o health. ins. deaths/disab).
A 2017 reference:…. It's not like the problem couldn't have been seen coming for a decade or so.
Shots fired: e-commerce expert @VinnyandCo on the UK shipping crisis.
How much of this can be redirected to seaports in Baja California (Mexico)?
Scariest part of this is how all of this is just to fix one specific part of the problem. One, ONE, link in a very long chain.
It's a positive feedback loop. You get back more of the bad thing you have. This is a standard engineering term. Please get this right. It's so frustrating to watch people misuse this.
Positive feedback - Wikipedia
(no description)
Number your thread pieces
System hasn't collapsed. It's been sabotaged. Sabotaged by the governments, local, state, and federal. Only an idiot would enlist government to fix a problem it created.
Pete’s on maternity leave sorry America.
Virtuous rehabilitation cycle needed, to replace present coffin corner condition
(No comment)
Unfortunately this is actually good for the communist party of China not starting a nuclear war with us We can do fine without Christmas presents but they can't fund their ICBMS all by themselves when they're having flooding and mass food shortages Sucks to have started C19 imo
It’s time for some CPR (cargo + port rearrangement).
It's like economic covid The circulation has clotted
Can we use river barges to store the empty containers and leave them tethered to other ports along the coast? (there are many smaller ports or Navy bases like ports there by Hueneme, Seal beach, Laguna Niguel, oceanside). I wonder if it is feasible to ship a bunch from eastside
so youre saying capitalism is destroying itself... and you want to stop it? the hell is wrong with you
Of course you have a substack, lol.
Have you stop to think... maybe just maybe... this has been their plan all along? It’s to ridiculous
I can't stop thinking how similar effect has this with what happened at the Suez Canal... And these two events so close to each other. It's like something were about to come
Eliminating red tape is a big part of it, the military bases are key here as they have a lot of space and often a lot of chassis to spare. The truckers unions also bottle necks at the moment as those truckers use their own chassis so who gets the military chassis and who doesn’t?
setting up a temporary government yard where all empties can be unloaded (allocate $ to pay truckers to drive there and back) military forklifts to facilitate this helps with national guard staffing the yard. Dedicate lanes on 710 for trucking only for now
This has been the only logical solution I’ve come close to hearing. I can’t believe that I don’t have an ounce of faith that anything will be implemented. I have no faith in any of these vapid bags of milk.
There must be space near the old navy base in Long Beach
Privatize all port operations independent of unions and time-barred temporary zoning modifications should be allowed
Natural question is : how did it happen ? Why did it worked ok for decades and collapsed ? Surely COVID crisis is for something but how exactly ? Is it preventable for future crises ?
what you call a problem is what the central planners call a feature! you just don't get it, this is all part of the plan
My question is, why is this happening now and not before? If the system worked fine for decades and even through the pandemic with less people on staff, why is it now a problem?
i assume it's because workers rightfully realized they weren't being paid enough, so they left? there's a bunch of strikes going on in all industries this is just a guess though
Because demand is way up. The ports are, in fact, moving more containers than ever. But even that is not enough for demand.
What’s accounting for the record demand? What changed?
Post-pandemic-peak (it’s not over but we’re past the worst and country’s been reopening) rebound. Lots of delayed purchases, pent up demand, etc. Also some particular supply shortages have some companies reconsidering just-in-time logistics, leading to stockpile-building.
I asked myself this same question but have yet to find an answer.
It's a number of factors working simultaneously, some mentioned here-- though obviously all of it has to do with the pandemic. "Cause" is a tricky subject when you're talking about big systems, but I'd put it there.
This is small potatoes compared to what climate change (and collapse) is gonna do, of course. May as well get ready.
Very complex but here’s some pandemic part: xtra consumer goods demanded (service demand plummeted) + COVID outbreak slowdowns overseas
There's also a massive shortage of OSHA certified warehouse labor and space that would need to be worked into your plan, or the containers just pile up somewhere else.
Get your G-4 to brief you on the assets we have to do this. The Army owns its own railway component, truck transportation groups, Port Ops. Just give @FORSCOM the mission to source - 3 days! Planners put ASBs at every port & execute.
Also politically, this isn't a very compelling tbh. There are a lot of people that dislike big corporations which often manifests in the discussion around executive pay and corporate taxes. Republicans on the other hand would say let the free market sort it out.
Free market? The ports are owned by the government.
Meaning if a company fails, that's creative destruction and the next iteration of that company will have a more robust supply chain. Privately owned ports might be part of the solution.
What a dumb thing to say lmao
The free market *would* sort it out though, these are government owned ports and government zoning seems to be causing the bottle neck?
Also @GavinNewsom can temporarily allow trucks that didn’t meet emissions restrictions to temporarily load at ports. This law significantly reduced trucking fleet that can load up at ports
Who is in charge ultimately?
OR…Hear me Out….we shorten and diversify supply chains…heaven forbid we secure our nation by NOT manufacturing everything in a hostile nation 6000 miles away. You provide short term solution for a structural, geopolitical problem.
This right here is the real answer!
I just finished The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt. Sounds like you've read it too.
Reroute ships to Oakland? Empty berths when I drove by on Sunday. 3rd largest port on the West Coast—w/ trucks, terminals, 2 railroads, cranes, longshoremen, anchorage space in the Bay...I realize it can’t supplant LA/LB. And the other unclogging steps could work here in Sacto.
Needs a "get shit done" department.
Why can’t many of the ships waiting to unload or coming to LB get re-routed to other ports on the east coast until they catch up?
And btw, excellent thread that journalists seem incapable of communicating to the general public.
Time to pull the Andon Cord
Your full shit.
Maybe that’s the plan 🤷🏼‍♀️
Generate a Traffic Control Authority to prioritize which ships get unloaded first based on cargo impact to rest of chain. Preference to FIFO but not absolute.
Take the empties to rapidly build affordable housing container homes. Some of them are stunning and go up fast.
How about getting the empties out of the way altogether? Put ‘em on the trains you mentioned, take them up to 100 miles or so and give them to the folks who are making homeless housing units (like this one:… ) I have no affiliation with housing groups.
Is there idle capacity at any West Coast container port right now? If so, is it technically feasible to convert a terminal at LA/LB to transshipment and then charter Jones Act vessels to reposition inventory?
Need to return the empties to Asia asap
But you have to load them onto ships, which takes time. And the queue outside the port's already huge
That has to be done because otherwise the empty containers keep building up and because otherwise imports stop coming (in future once these problems are fixed). If it isn’t done then won’t problems just be queues up for the future ?
Need sensors on all cranes measuring containers moved per hour
Additional ideas from @man_integrated
Today we have seen announced: - Special truck routes and waivers - Underutilized land identified around the region to store/manage empty containers - Biden admin floating using National Guard to help shuttle containers This was published ten days ago.👇…
Cities need to be planned around yard space. Too late now so they may need to bull dose residential neighborhoods, golf courses, shopping centers, freeway ramps . . .
Can the administration/FMSCA increase the Hours of Service by an hour? Increase empty chassis only rates to go to LA Port? Will that help?
Why is this the case?
Remove some bridges to allow trucks to shuttle double high lightly loaded containers
you got this right yeh?! Reconfigure @Tesla firmware to operate 2x Tesla’s as autonomous tractor and trailer at night time when they should be sleeping maybe with a pillow to protect top so they don’t get squashed or worse by their newfound amorous ten tonne tin cousins
If you could get to a cave with a new machine so quickly this shouldn’t be beyond your abilities!
Ban or restrict personal vehicles on the 110 and other nearby freeways so trucks can move in and out of the area faster.
maybe just stop the endless stimulus and put some temporary tariffs on chinese goods
Why do the ships not take more empties? Is it because there are no empties left in the shipyards? It seems to me that the real bottleneck here is the lack empties flowing back to china?
Agree with your proposal as well as touting as many ships to Florida as possible
Ship out empty containers back to origin. Asia has a huge container shortage.
Dump the containers create artificial reefs
Move Christmas to March
The Port of West Sacramento isn’t an unloading option, but it does have UP/BNSF service. Could be that unclogging with a shuttle between Oakland-West Sac.
Could we stop bringing empty containers to the ports, too? Deliver or transport them to the inland yard. Unit train chassis back to the port. Make this the ongoing plan until demand for empties matches stockpile.
Ryan, what about moving some of these ships up to Oakland and railing the freight south. Im in Bakersfield and have a rail ramp with ample space to sort containers. Good road access to the entire west coast from here. Would love to discuss
Also have ag export here in the Central Valley that need to get out and have experience street turning containers to benefit both importers and exporters
An alternative might be to leverage Mexico — trucking and storage — in all this using the USMCA trade agreement to bust through all local zoning ordinances and state-level restrictions.
Didn't someone pop up recently with a thread about how a certain drive train joint needed by thousands of US semi trucks is now out of stock worldwide until April 2022? How many trucks are down to await repair of back-ordered parts? Seems important.
Because you're proposing doing things like temporarily overriding zoning regulations, processes that normally run smoothly and safely may become unsafe. You need to augment with other temporary safety measures: more human monitors, more medical staff on-hand, etc.
Is LA/LB switched to a 24/7 schedule? Bc it’s been backed up for awhile. They already do transfer inland (I think maybe out by Ontario) but they’d have to do it much more quickly to make any difference at all.
One of the problems for the railroads is recipients are not able to store and find demurrage cost cheaper than other alternatives, thereby jamming the rail yards in the Midwest and East.
Sell empty containers for tiny houses! I’ve been looking for a few. Make them affordable and for pick up only!
They need the containers back where the imports came from though
Can we use the empties (appropriately converted to suitable housing) to house illegal immigrants in temporary housing? Win- win.
There is an excellent book called "The Goal" that talks about bottlenecks and how to deal with them. Its fascinating, and I would highly recommend the audiobook on Audible.
One solution to solve the homeless problem.
I’m sure it was mentioned but didn’t read all the way down the thread but housing would be the most effective use of the empty’s, especially heading into winter.
Prioritize unloading of N units for those who remove N+X units. Make quotas assignable/transferrable by the private sector. The market will start prioritizing inflows of highest margin units.
Every truck driver out there, including retired truck drivers, should be asked if they want to be short term contracted to drive every truck available that can handle a container. My sister was a truck driver. She's 64 years old but I guarantee she can drive for 120 days.
There will be a massive spike in labor demand if things start moving in the ports. Give immigrating people a path to citizenship for working in high-demand jobs. The US needs warehouse, logistics, tech labor. We're facing population & tax revenue decline.
Tow trucks can move containers.
Funny, I keep saying exactly this about climate change solutions.
If you gave me a truck & chassis w/ no logs. I’m all in. Got the crew and connection from LA to DFW.
Well done. That's exactly the way to solve this problem.
Ideas are great BUT if there is no executioner then it’s all talk.?
, do you know any website or app which would enable private owners to donate or rent their land as temporary container yards? I'm a software architect and happy to volunteer coding and engineering leadership time to make this happen: DM me if you want to collaborate!
take like 60,000 of the containers and convert them into housing for all the unhoused people in LA.
Can some of the ships be sent to other ports?
Trump would have this done two months ago.
Violate the Jones Act? Now that's just crazy talk.
Just what I was thinking. US flag vessels to perform cabotage service isn't possible, as they're deployed in servicing their own markets already. There's not really excess capacity, and Flexport should have that capacity data, so Ryan should know that already.
Yeah...he lost me with the barges. Like what? I think a lot of this is performative for folks without deep logistics backgrounds. Also, the military chassis? I mean what?
Containers on barges is not a new concept. Most east coast ports have container on barge services. It can provide significant capacity relief.
You can do a lot with deck barges. A couple afternoons of welding down deck sockets and double lashing padeyes and you're in business so long as the underdeck structure is up to the task. AML, Samson, Sause Bros, and many others have been running container barge services for ages
OK, sure, but they generally only take standard sizes, none or limited haz and no OOG. They can move some volume but when you are talking about tens of thousands of containers it's a lot of effort to make minimum impact.
AML runs cars and haz and oversize all year long to SE Alaska on deck barges. They put the OOG on top. As for non standard sizes, it's steel, transportation's infinitely-manipulable wonder material. Need 48s & 53s? Weld down more sockets. Don't even have to burn the old ones off.
Added bonus, you don't need a container terminal. A big ass forklift and a nice ramp will do. That's how most of SE Alaska and most HI containerized barge traffic functions. Conveniently a lot of bulk/general cargo terminals have on dock rail.
Well color me surprised. Granted it's been a long time, long time since I did this, probably 2005. It was Osprey moving resin for Huntsman. My 1-2 haz cans a week were loathed by everyone, especially the planners.
Well and if you don't get down into the weeds of serving outports at small volumes you never see all these semi-niche equipment setups in action. And for sure some haz loads are a much bigger pain than others, resins included! Probably some things the barge lines won't carry.
Yeah, this guy doesn’t realize how small the domestic shipping fleet is, and how it’s concentrated on the east coast and PacNorWest and is already tied up in domestic shipping.
All true; then even if you issue Jones Act waivers (not a stretch), have you tried to charter feeder containerships lately?
Repeal the Jones Act and the will be a silver lining to this mess!
Ideally the Jones Act should be suspended temporarily. Not sure how it would work, if an execute order would be able to do that. If the law is keeping a problem from being solved, the law is wrong - and causing billions of dollars in losses.
Ban public freeway transport from 11pm-5am and make all the truckers drive during the night only. Clear roads, faster transport. Just a thought.
In southern CA where the highways are always busy?
100%. I've spent over 3 hours one way on the freeway.
Do we have that many? Isn't it a Jones act thing?
Like a reverse Operation Dynamo at Dunkirk.
I remember hearing that the shipping terminals in Portland were getting increased traffic for the first time in a while recently. Are other ports on the West Coast starting to pick up the slack, and if so just how much can they move?
Probably would have happened anyway with a surging economy so i wouldn't necessarily chalk it up to LA problems. Most of Portland's yards aren't container terminals so maybe not that relevant anyways. T-6 would fill up quick if it got overflow POLA and POLB traffic.
has excess capacity, compared to @portoflongbeach, rerouting anchored vessels would provide another solution.
This should be near the top of the list! Nobody is discussing American’s Marine Highways! Short Sea Shipping; been on the books for at least 30 years……… it doesn’t sit well with other supply chain players.
Do you expect them to lift the Jones Act? The ability to move containers out of Long Beach to smaller ports would be quick and a huge first step to solving the problem.
You can get a Jones Act waiver...
Dunkirk that shit.
Don't know if breakbulking or barge transferring the cargo would really help the congestion that much. Only area i could think of would be Puget Sound where there's an extensive tug and barge fleet with appropriate aprons. LA tug fleet appropriation might kill Hawaii shipng also.
Barges need time to be equipped for lashing containers anyway. If the destination has a container crane for offloading, the ship can just divert.
How far away from the original port?
lol good luck with this part of your plan ..
Why not the ships themselves? How do you think the FAA manages airport congestion: Landing slots (a no brainer). All the other major W Coast ports have considerable under utilized capacity and can handle most of the bigger ships. Newest Tacoma cranes can take the largest ships:
Not practical; just send the ships to the other ports. Not a lot of barges are equipped to carry containers and multiple loading/unloadings would be slow. There are some in the PNW, however.
The ships have cargo destined for the LA SoCal area. Or is break bulked at near dock facilities. How does this cargo get processed by diverting?
#1: cargo doesn't get processed by anybody until the ship docks (2-3 wks after arrival). Not all that much cargo get break bulked (yes, some does). #2: Much less than half of the containers are for CA (look at the rail traffic stats sometime). #3: No wait in Oakland.
I work for the railroad. I know the dynamics. If “much less than half” of the cargo goes to SoCal, how does, say, 15% of the LA/LB port volume make its way from Oakland to the LA Basin when trucks can’t even get the traffic handled locally?
What I can find out is that btw 30-40% of container cargo is CA destined; the rest is forwarded E, almost all by rail either via the Transcon(BNSF) or the Sunset/GoldenState(UP) routes. Below is the AAR weekly car loading report; over ½ of the intermodal is UP or BNSF(mostly).
Also what I hear is only 5-10% of the boxes are repackaged. Furthermore, any box offloaded in Oakland could be in the LA Basin in 12-24 hrs road or rail. [See my reply to Muni Perez] That sure beats sitting outside the breakwater for a couple of weeks.
Like I said in one of my comments, most of those goodies in the boxes are not for Californians. BTW: Oak>LA ~450 mi; driven it many times. Working for what RR; doing what? where?
Even if the cargo is headed towards socal area, wouldn’t it be better to move it somewhere else and then haul it by truck back? It would just sit on the ship instead and cause a lot more problems.
If the problem is local truck capacity in the port/LA area, hauling it 100-200 miles to long haul truck it back is not a solution. Still doesn’t solve or address the break bulk issue.
You are right on. Oakland is 10-12 hrs from the LA basin via I5. That's one of my points, but the other is that for east bound containers, it would add a day at the most via BNSF over Tehachapi Pass to KC, Memphis, or Chi, the fastest route.
Who is handling the Oakland discharge to the LA Basin in your scenario? Truck or train?
Ever been to Oakland? 12-15 container berths (red lines) Lots of tracks. Not many ships today: 2 yellow dots are container ships; 3rd is a bulker. Port of Oakland is like LB or LA but not as large …or busy. Some LB/LA ships stop there too and/or Seattle. Truck access is decent.
Unless something changed recently Oakland is also backed up. I think every west coast container port is.
Allow foreign ships to operate between US ports.
do you have any idea, at all, of how much cost and trouble sudden changes to established routine cause ? not to mention safety issues
Why not sail to oakland… no bottleneck?!?
How about just melt the containers down as scrap metal and recycle the materials to Asia for the production of new containers?
Boston and Jersey can't get enough containers. Exports in the northeast are backed up by two weeks. Send ships and/or containers to the other ports.
OK. How will it affect the total available storage space? Will it allow things to run again for the foreseeable time or will it just be temporary relief? If so, what when it's blocked again?
Hopefully this is enough to give a temporary air blow to desaturate port operations without blocking the next bottleneck. If not, we might go all-in, deactivate part or all Terminal Operating System automation and setting up special teams in place to clog off ports.
You really think deactivating the automation will solve it? I think it might make matters worse.
Certainly not all of it, all "helpers" like space allocation, stacking optimization should stay, but there might be some parts which are not optimizing only for flow due to financial or commercial concerns.
In the same area, I would have a look on the Customs authorities situation. I hope they are in full hands/special procedures mode, but the pandemic showed us that sometimes a part of the system stays in normal mode even under a full crisis.
The "chassis cannot unload because yard is full" ; "chassis cannot load from full yard because already loaded" definitely looks like a good old business rules deadlock to me...
Another possible counter-productive optimization could be "maximize storage utilization"... And the associated radical solution would be : split the yard in two one-way virtual yards.
Great thread, but you buried the lede. Most important part by far are the 4 points at the end
"Force" the railroads? How does that work?
If trucks are stuck waiting for loads, possible solution: offload containers to an open field to be picked up there
Seems like paying would be better than forcing. This is the only one of your points that strikes me as needing amendment.
Small point of contention. One could simply hire the trains as opposed to forcing them.
This would probably have an added benefit of relieving local port area traffic congestion due to the immense truck traffic around them.
Savannah has inland ports that rail containers to two sites past Atlanta. Alteady using the DOD staging docks normal used for shipping out USNS cargo. Problem there is clients warehouses are full and they can’t receive more goods.
This assumes the roads to this magical huge plot of land in the most expensive real estate market in the union can accommodate all of these trucks
may have to ruin the roads - short term
Totally. Not worried about ruining them. More worried about whether uoud create another bottleneck because the interchange can’t handle the volume
They are already ruined. CA-60, I-10, I-15 pavement turns to trash every few years.
Take them to the desert. Out by four corners. 395
"Sounds like communism." 😄 Why exactly should railroads help their (less efficient? less ecological?) competition? Also, how does this tie into, e.g. this: You're gonna pay market rate for the extra 4 containers worth of vertical air space, right?😂
Incredible. One of the most crucial links in the supply chain, has been for years, built on the premise that some workers would provide labor for free.…
3 or 4 shuttle points on a 100 mile span to scale trucks unloading and storage easier
You mean leverage Biden's connection to railroad? There is so much spare railyard space in this country. Trust me I've lived on a train!
Hyperlink was supposed to start off hauling containers out of Long Beach to Niland where there's plenty of space. That might take 15 years.
yeah my gut reaction after also being in space as TechStars logistics alum was they’ve completely messed up standard drayage best practices - w/o more data the why is hard tho and concur on those suggested fixes
Force? This isn't a dictatorship. If it's profitable they'll do it on their own. You can propose all of these same ideas without being a dictator and the companies can choose to freely go along with him because it's helpful to be economy and profitable
i certainly hope massive shortages don't turn out to be highly profitable for a small number of people who also happen to be making decisions on what to do about the shortages
So how does that play out? Don't the train and trucking companies make more money the more they move?
make money from whom?
? From their customers
but their customers can make much higher margins selling current stock at shortage prices, why would they pay the premium to increase the flow of goods (which could also benefit their competitors)
Is this 1500 mile journey through Dallas a recent development? Why does this longer route command a lower rate? Is there a good write up anywhere on giving context around this?
Yes we have an executive function as a constitutional republic that has powers they can invoke to force citizens to take actions in times of national security crisis
Everything can be justified as a national crisis.
The Texas railroad crews probably aren't going to be qualified on the California railroads, so that probably wouldn't do much to add California RR capacity, meanwhile lots of truckers who might be doing short haul in CA now might find switching to CA→TX more lucrative…
Like, I think forcing container owners to treat each other's containers as fungible would be easier and work better than the railroad short haul reconfiguration being proposed.
Also containers are not fungible between carriers, so the truckers have to drop their empty off at the right terminal. This is causing empty containers to pile up. This one trucking partner alone has 450 containers sitting on chassis right now (as of 10/21) at his yards.
That said, keeping the containers that were already planning to go by rail going by rail in the exact same way as previously planned, while also looking at moving some additional containers by rail, would probably be a great idea.
This is where we need the hyperloop. @elonmusk we need your help!
Where possible, direct discharge to unit shuttle trains moving to temporary inland ports would help. Long term, there should also be more direct discharge to shuttle trains going to purpose built inland ports designed for fully wheeled operation rather than stacking boxes.
California needs to partner with the railroads and trucking on a high desert transportation hub served by a state owned rail system. This is where that high speed rail money should have been spent. California has fallen…asleep. Bunch of stoners.
Wanted to get clever hire a bunch of guys with step decks with container locks to take the empties from where they are stranded to these new marshalling yards.
Theoretically you could run the train back with empties when it fit in the destowing/restowing cadence and put them straight off the train onto the ship. That can get them headed back without taking up real estate on the port.
Force the railroads? I've worked with CSX, nobody forces them to do anything.
"Force"? How would you prevent back up at your new rail yard? (and sorry Dallas, no more rail service for you according to this plan). In Chaos to Complicated the trucker/shuttle keeps containers moving between importers/yard/terminals.…
There is already a lot of problems getting the railroads to be doing what they should be doing and it is about to "hit the fan" from the STB. However, they really are not the problem, here. Their problem is getting loaded and unloaded at the ports. They do have other problems.
That’s what I was thinking. get the containers off the chassis and put on rail.
To be honest sir, how you are the CEO of a logistics company baffles the mind
Overwhelm the bottleneck shows a complete disregard for the bottleneck itself, you should pay me a small fortune to run this company you are about to crash
You could even federate this step - multiple of these are possible. Spokes on the ways to SF, SD, Dallas, Chicago, etc.
Who is handling this logistics? Tracking moving containers between LA/LB and new destinations seems impossible without new IT/logistics solution.
One suggestion, new tech for laying concrete unitized rail means you could build temporary spirrs off the main lines that lead east out of LA. Don't bottleneck to a new yard. Same idea as your sharing, have the national guard build 100 smaller rail yard spirrs 1 of 2
Place these new spirrs outside of the 100 top major transshipment intersections going east out of LA. That way long haul truckers, which are also seeing a labor shortage, get swapped for day cabs that can complete last mile to destinations in less than 12 hours.
You have no idea what you’re asking the railroads to do, and the ripple effect it will have on the flow of containers in the ports. Just…stop your ignorance.
Force? Why not cover the cost under the trillions in "infrastructure" spending?
Railroads are going to slow down drastically when the vaccine mandate goes into effect. The what?
How many cranes needed at this remote yard…or are they on chassis’s, ready to roll?
Brilliant. Create a staging out in the desert next to the train tracks. So much vacant land out there.
Great thread and the trains are a great and a much faster fix than the long term thought of a tunnel out of LA you shared on @OddLots1
RE Railroads: This is much harder than it seems. Most of the railroads are also stuck with thousands of intermodal platforms that have loaded containers they can’t unload, or empty containers they can’t reposition.
Trains are stacked up outside intermodal terminals. UP has miles of them outside chicago. There are no ways to get them off trains and it snarls the system even further.
If we need to get containers off trains, we need to get to them and unload. The trip to Dallas isn’t the issue, instead we need to focus on shifting empty platforms to where they’re needed.
RRs don’t have the manpower to pull this off. They cut too deep, too quick 4 years ago for the sake of investors and are paying for it now.
This is already being done at the Port of Savannah from what I’ve read. But apparently they can’t find enough crane operators.
Force the railroads?
Camp Pendleton has plenty of space
Sounds a lot like the TDC yard (Theater Distribution Center) I recommended the other day. Victorville, CA's SCLA airfield might be perfect for that if they have cleared off the commercial jets that were in storage or use the rail head in Barstow.
*ponders Eagle Mountain to store a mountain of containers for Nolan's sequel to Tenet*
This is potentially a no-shit genius idea.
Yeah wasn’t this the post-BRAC plan for Victorville all along?
We already act as storage for USAF planes for parts in the Arizona desert because it's so dry. Why not bring us containers too?
I was thinking on this type of idea. Just haul thousands of empties out and store them in the desert somewhere until you clear the bottleneck.
Finally, Joshua Tree hipsters can add a poet’s chamber to their desert AirBB
Neighbor has acres of large empty unpaved lots all over Long Beach / Los Angeles metro. If @POTUS follows Ryan's plan, @neighborstorage will provide emergency yard space for containers and foot the bill. Let's solve this!
Maybe use the Marine Logistics Base at Barstow for this?
Seal Beach, CA has this.
wiki says it’s 8 square miles, borders the 405. they removed rail infrastructure 10 years ago.
Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach - Wikipedia
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Plenty of space in Lancaster/Palmdale to store containers.
No freeway access. You'd make a new traffic jam.
The containers need to get back to where they came from… Or you run out of containers to fill in China… Get a slinky at either end…
If there's excess capacity in cranes right now, maybe there's also idle ship capacity, and crowded yards could put some back on floating yards to make room?
also avoids having a glut of empty containers stacked everywhere that no one can get rid of while at the other hand, companies are paying record amounts to find one.
One wonders how many empty containers could be stored on the old runways at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Irvine?
None. There are houses there now. Even abandoned Rialto Airport has Distribution Centers on the property.
Huh. I thought that the houses were on the site, but the runways were still more-or-less intact (mostly because digging up a runway is difficult and expensive!)
I wondered what I was thinking.... Oh, yeah, those two 10,000ft runways next to the park...
I like your thinking, that is where my mind went, looking for dead airports in the area. Runways have the best potential to be converted to trans runs, but, I think those shots are old, I looked at the same thing. Been a while since I have gone out there.
pretty sure rialto was sold expressly for that purpose of developing into warehouses...
How feasible is this step?
That was my question. If all you needed was empty space and a rail spur to make a container yard, I'd think Class I railroads would contract with companies that have: 1) Rail service 2) Empty space and just solve this problem themselves. I think you need more than a few RTCHs.
look into Iron Mountain ( a secret shame boondoggle) (hush hush)
you mean...Eagle Mountain?
Yes... autofill strikes again.
The rails already have a huge yard at Colton...
The Feds own Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, and Joint Base Los Al - but they a surrounded by the Burbs... BLM owns a lot of land in the High Desert (as does Military), but that is further inland than key North South Junctions...
The yard in Colton is the one you want... 10, 60, (2)15, are all right there..
there's already a bnsf intermodal yard in san bernardino & up JUST started ops at one in fontana a few months ago. but if the issue is a lack of trailers, then just leave the empty containers on the train cars in the yard in colton.
Marine Corp Logistics Base Barstow comes to mind
The Marine Corps Logistics Base in Yermo would work.
Well over 100 miles from LA
Sure by 40 miles or so, but has the capacity and infrastructure to support thousands of containers without disrupting any neighborhoods and or the environment.
That's literally the only option besides leasing a big ass piece of land near Victorville. I like how this guy came up with the genius solution without actually thinking if it's possible.
You mean the US doesn't have an inland container depot?
I’m amazed that rail is not more I integrated into the logistics of these ports. Train can more efficiently move large numbers of containers to other areas than trucks.
There's quite a bit of on-dock rail but inertia and momentum make them a long-distance mode. It's plausible they could clear the lock with a couple trains of empties to Dallas. I'm skeptical just 100mi would work.
they potentially don't even HAVE to unload the empties off the trains, just stick them on a siding somewhere for a few weeks. also helps sidestep potential zoning issues to just leave them on rail cars...
Camp Navajo?
Make them tiny houses for the homeless.
Perhaps we should dump them on Fontana speedway.
Does it even need rail (though that's obviously a good thing)? If the problem is "too many trucks tied up with empty containers they can't offload", then anywhere nearby that's got a crane and dirt can fix that bottleneck. Rent a chunk of Disneyland parking lot for the winter.
Dodgers stadium too
Sadly, the Dodgers are still using their stadium and the SF Giants aren't :-) but the season's almost over.
agreed, parking lot at disneyland would be an excellent spot for this. also all the parking lots at sports stadiums in the la-oc area, esp those which are served by transit.
What about the old MCAS El Toro or the Helicopter base at Irvine?
Oops - helicopter base in Tustin
*laughs and points at Dodger Stadium* They've got land, go for it
Maybe you can use this to identify some potential locations…
Did you know the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Geographic Information System (GIS) provides info, general locations of FUDS properties across the U.S? Check it out:
Major staging point inland. March field national reserve air museum riverside, CA. 77 miles from la ports. Adjacent to bnsf rail line, connects to UP rail lines exiting LA ports, prior to rail line divisions going north/east.
march isn't close to being "adjacent" the bnsf mainline, especially since there's nowhere to actually unload said containers until san bernardino...
Los Alamitos Army Airfield - 14 miles from the Port of LB and 1300 acres per Wikipedia.
Alternatively: run the empties out to the inland port(s) on rail, freeing space to receive new empties, freeing chassis for inbound cargo, clearing space in the terminals... Filling truck yards with empties and splitting the chassis pool doesn't sound wise.
What is an inland port? (I've never heard that term before!)
a place intended to operate as a port for legal & somewhat operational purposes while not actually being a port on the water
Due north of Long Beach, the Union Pacific rail lines serve as the western border to Palmdale Regional Airport, where there's a LOT of empty space and companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrup Grumman to potentially help.
Where is that? Camp Pendelton?
might want to check w those communities first, mate
Or prob a lot less labor intensive and more cost effective to start shipping back containers empty until the trade imbalance eases.
If only there were a space in Utah to store that many containers.
This is the big one.
Might I suggest Camp Pendleton? It is roughly 65 miles from Long Beach and has rail running right through it.
Unless I'm misreading, doesn't seem like you'd need rail, just nearby land to store containers like sea of parking at former San Diego Chargers stadium. Only 150ac, but proximity to SD Port to help reallocate containers on small barges & presumably excess military manpower
How about recycle a certain % of the containers?
Moving imports out there doesn’t make a ton of sense. It kills chassis velocity and driver productivity.
I nominate Fort Irwin. Huge open training area 2/3 of the way from LA to Vegas. On rail. Federal land.
It’s a little bit out of your radius, but I nominate Barstow.
Maybe Camp Pendleton?
They ought to be using the great big parking lots all over the place - you don't need to go 100 miles away. As far as I know, Anaheim/Fullerton/etc. has all kinds of rail access. Use Disney's Cast Member parking lots, the Angels stadium parking lots, etc.
I’ll take a dozen if 166 miles isn’t too far.
Huh…like MiraMar base in San Diego?
Agreed! A new container yard for sure. We also need a processing area where inspectors can send un-seaworthy containers to another yard to get them out of the bottleneck. They will need maintenance, but they don't need to take up valuable space from serviceable containers.
Isn't there a naval airport defunct and near by that can be used temporarily?
If what I've read on FB/Twitter is true, the new CA laws regarding truckers has also impacted shipping.
A lot of desert out there. Possibly Victorville (SCLA) or Barstow? Any decommissioned military base not limited to 100 mi radius?
As a NG soldier, I can tell you this won't happen. It would take longer to mobilize the NG than you believe.
This is a bad idea.
We have an Army Active Duty Transportation Corps that can provide thousands of trucking assets. Let them loose! @SecDef @SecArmy @ArmyChiefStaff WHERE IS ARMY G-4??????????
“Every”??? This would great risk in disaster response and readiness?
Question: would this impact us naval operations? Is that workable w/ Taiwan issue?
I thought the military ran a different size kingpin than civvy iron.
Good idea! ...but mobilize overall DoD resources' they will mobilize, what NG units they need. Again this is not a CA problem.
Let’s not go overboard.
Just need to reach out to @GeneralBaldwin to see if this component of your list is even remotely feasible in any capacity. If they can help, they will.
How many do the national guard / military own, and are they even the right type that's needed? Or would it just add further to the congestion?
I was in supply and logistics for over 20 years. I managed container yards with a total of 15,000 containers. I'm so damn excited reading this thread!!!
Thank you! I've been saying this for weeks! Why aren't the national guard involved? This is a national crisis.
#2 was my solution. Store empty containers on federal property
Sorry wrong answer. Perverse incentives for the Ports of LB & LA. because ironically they collect rent on the stored containers from the terminal operators. We are from the government and we are here to help (ourselves).
Don’t know if the Fed Govt has constitutional authority to supercede local zoning (especially via Exec. Order).
This is an over simplification, it is part of the solution however most yards lack the equipment to stack more than 5 high and there are safety reasons they can’t stack more than 3 at some yards that should be over looked.
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Can't these containers be repurposed for affordable housing to ease the housing price pressure?
Is that actually something that can be done by EO?
Yes. If the President declares something a national security issue, local zoning codes are never an impediment (city planning commissions can’t tell the Air Force that its airbase doesn’t meet code)
That's awesome. I had no idea, but it makes sense. Thanks.
The federal government does not have power over zoning in Long Beach. But it probably does have power under commerce regulation to set emergency rules for interstate trucking that would preempt local rules that get in the way.
The federal govt does indeed have power over zoning in Long Beach (and every other city). That’s actually one of the bees in my bonnet. Unlike with residential housing, the President wouldn’t need more authority from Congress for a national security issue involving the ports.
Again, if state police power overrides Congress’s interstate commerce power then the Fair Housing Act is unconstitutional. If it’s not unconstitutional then there’s no question, as Justice Kennedy noted, Congress has the power to invalidate local zoning.…
What’s your authority on that? Youngstown rejects freestanding national security powers, so there would need to be some sort of statute authorizing this.
And sure, maybe someone wouldn’t sue Feds for saying “you can ignore zoning laws, it’s important” but the trucking companies will need to know if they have a defense if Long Beach starts fining them (or arresting them - many zoning violations can be charged as misdemeanors in CA)
Every judge, even California municipal judges, is quite familiar with the Supremacy Clause.
What federal law would the president be acting under? If the President said - like Youngstown - seize some steel mills with no statutory authority, that order would be void. Supremacy Clause means federal law prevails if there’s a conflict - but there still has to be federal law.
Well, without even looking at Tsy’s power to regulate imports, or HHS’s power to regulate ports of entry (we are in the middle of a pandemic after all) or the DoD’s Defense Production Act power over, well, everything, I reckon the Homeland Security Act should do the trick.
These are the generic responsibilities of the Secretary, not grants of power. But I agree that the DPA is a potentially viable source of authority, and would likely preempt state law that would prohibit the defense production activities required by a DPA order.
I think CA state emergency powers laws are a bit more solid of a ground though - the Governor could almost certainly declare that the supply chain crisis constitutes a state emergency and suspend the relevant zoning code provisions.
If Congress uses Commerce Power to give officials the responsibility to coordinate transportation, that’s a grant a power. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other to me but you’d want CA & WH EOs in sync to thwart the litigious in CA courts & states righters in Fed courts.🙂
Would it be feasible to Newsom to use State EOs to fill gaps where federal EOs don’t reach? Is there any political reason he wouldn’t/shouldn’t coordinate with the feds in this matter?
I’m not a California lawyer but in general a governor’s powers when he declares a state of emergency are broad as a barn. And yes even if they weren’t of the same party, it’d make sense for President & Governor to issue coordinating EOs.
Clearly a national/federal issue. Yes governors should support it. There are some measures that can ease the problem, but it is deeply structural and will take some time to unwind and restructure. Virtually all the shipping companies are foreign and many control port resources.
I read that stacking them higher leads to another problem, it's harder to get the ones at the bottom of the stack. Also, an interview with manager of Savannah container port indicated they are working on expanding terminal storage there. Big priority. Not sure about elsewhere.
I was just thinking that 1 high must be best for maximum speed, given space. You never have to shift a container to get a container. With this proposed 6 high, you have only 1/6 chance to have the right container on top (for random access), and of course 5 to shift in bad luck.
Now, with optimal knowledge and preplanning you might always have the right container on top, but that seems unlikely in a FIFO material flow.
You should really consider reading the thread before making a fool out of yourself. The stacks of 6 are for EMPTY containers that are currently sitting 1 high ON the truck chassis in truckers' yards.
Who owns empties? Is one as good as another?
Again read the fucking thread, man. The bottleneck isn't in organizing the empties. They could sit there for weeks or months and it wouldn't matter. There's nowhere for the empties to go until they can get on top of getting the full containers OUT of the port, w chassis.
To me this is just another example of Twitter "I saw a thing, and now I think it's so easy." A ton of people sign on without thinking it through. For instance, is this your yard equipment? How do you magically go six high by executive order?
Those machines can lift fully loaded containers. Stack one empty on top of another, then lift the bottom container in that stack and put it on top of another container and now you’re 3 high. Hell they can probably lift two stacked containers onto two more stacked for 4-high.
Huh? It attaches at the top. This is what I mean about Twitter and blithely naming solutions. You are clearly making it up as you go along.
I’m sorry your brain doesn’t work, that must be difficult for you.
Any other really clever rejoinders about how I’m just a Twitter asshole who just thinks it’s easy?
There are no links between those. The bottom one is on the ground. So that is a picture of him placing the top one.
Yes and it’s 5 high. What’s your point? You claimed top lift equipment would be a bottleneck and I very simply proved that to be incorrect. Now you’re just trying to save face.
You aren't making sense. The original article said that the yard was built for 2 high. If they have a 2 high yard they probably have pretty close to 2 high equipment. Yes they could buy whole new stuff, but that is for the complication and not 100 days.
2 high is because that’s the local code, not because that’s the maximum they can lift. A loaded container can be up to 44k lbs, that’s equivalent to 8 empty containers. Have you never seen a forklift be used?
You realize heavy lift equipment can also be rented right? It’s not just “oop no other choice but to spend a quarter mil on new machines”.
Seriously? Again we’re talking about empty containers. You realize they’re talking about full containers in that article, right?
I’m from the Port of Long Beach. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Are you available to discuss your ideas on optimal knowledge and preplanning?
I'm happy to hear from you. I've done similar work, in medical scheduling. I'd be interested to hear from you what fraction of throughput goes "in sequence" and what fraction is "special" (either priority or missed).
In a crisis when you need to get the cranes moving, that is not remotely a primary concern. Get them off the terminals and sort the rest later
Very glib. Zero tradeoffs. Perfect for Twitter.
in extreme situations [1] extreme tradeoffs are worth it.
As in, we learned this in this thread right here
In operations when a bottleneck appears somewhere that you didn't design for it to appear, you must OVERWHELM THE BOTTLENECK!
"tradeoffs are worth it" is the very definition of an empty statement. Fwiw, if you've never read this on constraints, it's a good start. "The Goal (novel) - Wikipedia"
The Goal (novel) - Wikipedia
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Premature optimization right there, shifting 5 objects in a worst case is better than the current situation of stand still
The current situation is not standstill. And if you were serious you'd have Models for throughput with various changes from status quo, and times to implement.
The proposal is to stack empty containers 6 feet high at truck yards not at the ports. So you won't have the problem of trying to find the right container.
In the truck yard, would there be issues with container ownership, stack load, or FIFO?
The possibility of some containers at the bottom of a stack being hard to get to is surely outweighed by the status quo of 100+ ships each with 10,000s of containers being completely inaccessible because they're waiting at sea.
Exactly, it's about the biggest bottleneck.
Why not permanently override the rules? They seem idiotic.
Yeah, screw the poverty level families that live near the container yards. More containers=more pollution, but hey we need our trinkets.
Executive orders don’t work this way, but I wonder if there’s a relevant authority in the Defense Production Act or emergency Surface Transportation Board authority.
You are right that this is a national problem, with all is moving parts, is soluble only by the federal government. It is a stuctural problem that has evolved over the last 20-40 years. No quick solution really. One would be to federally limit the number of ships at a given port.
Sorry Charlie, national interest trumps California. Newsom would certainly cooperate (he's a good guy, & he's smart) and might be able to move quicker. The goodies stashed on those ship are not all for Californians. Eventually there will be a limit on what ships can call where.
If LA doesn’t let them, why don’t they bring them to the neighboring counties? Kern County for example is just a 2-3 hour drive, endless amounts of open land. I’m sure it would be easy to find a land owners that would be happy to rent space out
Read the fucking thread man, there's no chassis available for that easy breezy 2-3 hour drive.
The trucking partner he cites has 450 chassis with containers on them. Once you find empty land to put the containers, you need equipment to get the empties off and - here's the nut - do it cheaply enough that you don't lose money on veery load.
Yeah, that is an excellent point 👍🏼
Maybe you missed this part? There are chassis *with* empties that need to be removed. Once you remove the empties you have more available chassis to go to the port
With the chassis all tied up storing empties that can't be returned to the port, there are no chassis available to pick up containers at the port.
Maybe YOU Missed this part:…
Also containers are not fungible between carriers, so the truckers have to drop their empty off at the right terminal. This is causing empty containers to pile up. This one trucking partner alone has 450 containers sitting on chassis right now (as of 10/21) at his yards.
Yeah, to me this is the crux of the problem. It says the containers are not fungible (i.e. interchangeable) between carriers but why is that? Are they that different between carriers that they can't be interchanged at all?
And even if they are, given the circumstances, wouldn't it eventually make sense just to find somewhere to offload empties and come for them later? Doesn't the cost of thousands of containers sitting on boats eventually outweigh the extra cost of this?
I'm not entirely sure why they aren't fungible between carriers, however, there are workarounds like the one suggested in the thread. Were Long Beach to allow these yards to stack the empties 5-6 high the trucks could fill up again. There are workarounds if municipalities allow
And putting the empties in a fucking hay pasture 3 hours away is a really dumb solution. Congrats on that.
Devils advocate…as BCO I don’t want my containers in another county. I specifically shipped material to Long Beach to supply my customers in the area. Who is going to pay for extra freight back to LA/LGB area?
Believe me, SoCal is NOT the recipient of all these goods. Most head east somewhere or north even. SWpend a day in Cajon Pass and watch what goes by. [I prefer Essex MT myself; it's prettier.]
Ah, so is this why Newark is nowhere near as backed up as the Port of Los Angeles? @2AvSagas @mnolangray @AaronGuhreen @rasjbaraka
(Photo I took on October 3 from the Bayonne Bridge)
Well it’s because way more shipping happens out of Asia than Europe. If you were shipping trinkets from Shanghai you’d go to the west coast not the east coast.
Not true. A lot of it goes through the Panama Canal. LB/LA was the most efficient port for eastern transshipment, a concentration of the major shipping companies, competing, setup longterm contracts and resources there. Like too many people trying to go through the same door.
It costs way more. The arb to go to the eastern or southern part of the US like New Orleans must be closed. I can’t buy a company would wait at LA or LB if it’s cheaper all in to go to NOLA or the east coast.
Newark is 24/7 port. As are most ports on the East coast. Port Manager of Long Beach port was interviewed last week saying they weren't 24/7 because non-day port workers would get time and a half pay. They've now decided to extend hours.
Excellent. If they can be stored a few months and retrieval can be later, is stability in earthquake areas a concern? If stability is a concern, would stacking them interlocking help? At 40’ x 8’ seems like perpendicular layers of five containers would work.
forgive me if this is a dumb question. Why was the limit created in the first place? Might containers pose a safety risk (wind, etc) if stacked 6 high?
They can be stacked 6 high on the ships on rough seas. I think it's OK? My suspicion is it's some arbitrary "quality-of-life" reason. Like how in LA you can't have live music visible from the street because it falls under the same regulation as strip clubs.
On ships they're confined in channels, though. I'm not sure what happens to a six-high freestanding stack in an earthquake.
The port in my hometown stacks containers at least 5 high and have for decades, it’s very likely it’s a quality of life regulation, not to do with safety.
The port can stack higher it’s not the port it’s the yards
Which would imply it’s an aesthetic policy decision not a safety one no?
Earthquake zones.
Channels guide below deck & 20 ft containers require twist locks or shoes to secure them. Above deck every container above a 2nd height gets twist locks & they are lashed between bays. They are secured to the ship. In a yard, empties topple but with careful this could help.
If X container is below Y container, but X container has to go now and Y container is going tomorrow, then you have to spend crane time to move Y to get X, then move Y back. A 2-stack takes 3x as long as a 1-stack. Now do the math on a 6 stack. ABCDEF are stacked, you need A...
I’m impressed by how well you explained that in a single tweet. That makes logistical sense, but, I doubt the zoning rules actually care about crane performance..?
the secret is that the zoning rules don't really matter, except in terms of maximum capacity. in a perfect world containers leave the yard as quickly as they enter, and you only need a bit room to work with; the issue is that containers aren't leaving. stacking them won't help!
the exception is in this extremely narrow situation, where storage has gotten so overfull that trucks are being used as storage. but a better solution than stacking is to put the containers somewhere else - a train to the mojave desert? plenty of space out there for containers
Yes, Tower of Hanoi applies, but this question is in regards to empty containers at truck yards needing stacking to free up container hauling trailers . We need to put the empties somewhere so we can move the full containers out of the ports.
I suspect the truck yards are smart enough to stack empties from a given company together. But it may not be possible even if the zoning restriction were eased, due to the equipment needed to get that 6th container 40 feet in the air.
There's no easily enforceable way to make sure empties only get stacked on empties. What's going to happen is empties are going to wind up on top of fulls. Suddenly we have to move four empties to get to one full and crane times explode.
It is clearly a nimby issue, but there are entirely safe (as well as unsafe) ways to store/stack containers.
Container stacks are prone to getting blown over under strong wind conditions and pose a safety risk to workers (and can damage the containers). You can stack them that high but if strong winds are forecast you want to mitigate that risk by having lower stacks
Is that safe? Presumably there is a reason for the limit of 2?
Lol no, it's not safe. The city prohibits the practice for yards which aren't engineered for it because the stacks can topple. Dominos with 40' containers. But it's a silly suggestion because nobody outside the ports has the equipment to do it anyway.
Armageddon waiting to happen!
YIMTY = Yes In My Truck Yard
Let's stacks steel boxes 50' high on parking lots. I'm sure the engineering is fine. Highly-skilled experts need specialized equipment but look what I found in the garage! 😄
Big difference though if it's restricted to emptys (~9k lbs each) vs loads (up to 80k lbs). If the lot is engineered for two high live loads they should be able to go six high with empties no problem. Corner casting dents in the pavement are just part of the yard aesthetic.
Looks like we're going to find out which lots we're engineered to stack live loads. 😄 LBC's new rules will probably be fine. I'm actually excited to see how they're going to stack them without RTCs.
You can stack empties with a big forklift. Fork pockets are usually labeled for empty use only One thing I wonder about is winds. On the ships we lash 'em or have twist locks on the upper tiers. In terminals the stacks are huge. But what about tall narrow stacks in parking lots?
RTGs aren't common in truck yards, and you can't exactly pop down to Home Depot to pick one up. Maybe they'll use construction cranes? Or borrow from terminals? I dunno. It's a funny idea.
It's also a very bad suggestion because it will set a precedent, and you can guess what sort of zoning restrictions will be overridden by executive order next. I trust @typesfast didn't think "don't let a good crisis go to waste", but less scrupulous will be happy to crisis-milk.
This issue is a red herring. Not nearly the biggest.
The question is - how do you get the attention of the Biden admin so that they actually go through with something like this.
Create places to take them then.
Transportation Secretary is on daddy duties at home. Surely you don’t think this crisis is more important than diaper changes? Where is your humanity?
The thing you have to ask yourself is why an executive order is even necessary? Answer? The local folks don’t want to take the local heat for going six high which would be unsightly for a while. So they wait for an executive order so the heat will go to no one in the state. 🤷🏼‍♂️
Which is a lack of leadership on their part.
Is the limit in place because it’s unsightly or because it’s dangerous?
Take the heat? Unsightly? I don’t think you know the nature of the operations. This is a good day over there:
Breaking: container falls off an 18 wheeler and crushes a parked car. No injuries. It’s happening now in #Wilmington where residents are sick & tired of the truck congestion in their neighborhoods near the ports @CBSLA #cbsla@PortofLA⁩ ⁦@portoflongbeach
This makes too much sense to do Ryan hence I doubt they will do it! 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️
Given the law is 2-high, how many yards would have equipment and processes to allow 6- high? Plenty of empty land, go set up that emergency storage at 1-high IMO.
Every square foot of buildable land in Southern California flat enough to drop a container was built on decades ago.
Is there a reason they can only stack containers 2 high? Safety, etc?
Maybe 3 high. 6 is crazy dangerous.
10 high is generally considered the safest limit on land. 12 high is standard for full. Empty ones can go much higher if they are lashed together. The limit is probably the forklifts in the yards.
Yep here is Australian yards I've seen them at least 4 high. Those containers forklifts are absolute units though
Earthquake danger in CA?
Why do people in California always think California is the only place that gets earthquakes?
Where did I say that LA certainly has earthquakes. I am wondering why the limit here.
Earthquakes can't be the reason they stack them high within the terminals but not if parked in a nearby overflow lot.
Simply reclassify the containers as “container homes”, and they will no longer have to comply with strict zoning laws in CA thanks to SB9!
Why can’t the local zoning boards over-ride their rules? Why must it be the Pres/Gov? What assholes.
<att><RP><proposed-temporary-policy for port-traffic-jams><LA><Allow truck yards to store empty containers up to six high instead of the current limit of 2. Make it temporary for ~120 days.> <add><att><when implemented and successful for contrubutor and State.>
but that would solve the problem...last thing politicians want to do
Why an Executive order, Long Beach and LA should do it themselves ASAP
I hear that the spotted owls and delta smelt fish get very sad if you ease any regulations. You don’t want sad owls and fish on your hand, do you?
Or make a temporary yard to store containers.
This seems to easy and affective for the government to implement.
This thread is absolutely on the right track but it’s really important to know why a law or policy is in place before making an exception to it
I hope you don't get any high winds. We stack empties using a 'ziggurat' type form, but they get blown over.
Truckers would also be assisted by temporary suspension of rules related to tractor age and reinstatement of economic incentive to pickup during off hours.
There are really a whole lot of issues with regard to truckers, but this is not really one of the biggest issues.
I think you are underestimating the political sabotage element here. Common sense solutions are not allowed to happen because the people in charge feel their political importance threatened by them.
If we let workers do the right things, what will the Managers do? The Managers must always run the show, even if it means doing the exact opposite of the correct solution that was suggested to them by non Managers.
There are tens of Manchin/Synema like figures along the chain of command required to approve of your solutions, and they draw all their power and importance from not allowing them to happen.
Honest Question: is that safe?
Is the limit because if earthquake safety?
Must be done SAFELY. Be sure the yards have safety protocols for this.
The WSJ video below shows lots of containers piled more than 2 high??
(No comment)
Doesn't the ongoing port crisis shine a light on the problems with our just-in-time global economy? If America can't import things, won't we be forced to once again make things?
Is stacking 6 high safe? Is there past incidents that required them to go 2 high?
So disappointed in these comments. "ThErEs A rEaSoN fOr ThEsE LaWs!" Y'all are the problem.
top idea, but do the truck yards have the physical capability to stack 6 containers high as opposed to 2 or did they design their infrastructure around the regs (i.e. it's 2 tops)?
To logical. Think of another idea.
dumb. you don't even know why they have the restriction. Or you think the risk is worth it. Other solutions with less risk are available.
What is the rationale for the 2 limit please Ryan?
Is this suggested measure or something they are actually doing?
Getting a Forklift with the capability to go six high could be a problem. What about scrapping them? Start crushing and melting, sell steel back to China in sheets.
- get the CEO for Flexport on your show TODAY and Monday. Your writers can fix it up. Be a hero, be a leader and talk to - @typesfast
I was just telling someone the other say that we need to stack cans at yards. Was shocked when I saw operations at SEATAC keeping the cans on the chassis. I had only seen VCR & MTL where they do stack prior to that. But then again, how many yards have pickers?
This shows them routinely stacked at 6 to 8 high…
Effective immediately Long Beach is allowing cargo to be stacked up to 4 containers high at container lots across the city. And up to 5 containers with safety approvals. Previously 2 had been the limit. This is a temporary move to address our national supply chain emergency.
I suspect this has something to do with the proclivity of Southern California to have earthquakes. A 6 container stack is likely to fall over in a much smaller quake than a stack of 2.
I don’t think this one works for several reasons, the most important is that stacking 3 times higher and trying to do that at a rapid pace to keep up with emptying truck beds is just going to lead to some very dead dominos. People make mistakes going fast.
What stops those cities from taking this step themselves? Could they do it faster than POTUS?
Effective immediately Long Beach is allowing cargo to be stacked up to 4 containers high at container lots across the city. And up to 5 containers with safety approvals. Previously 2 had been the limit. This is a temporary move to address our national supply chain emergency.
(No comment)
Oh, my sweet summer child.
4 containers stack, that's what they did today, for 90 days
This is a potential safety disaster, so price that risk into the calculation.
Russian proverb: nine women cannot make baby in one month.
Do they all have the gear required to stack 6 high?
Do those truck yards have suitable craneage to be able to stack 6-high?
Hard to believe its not already a done deal !
Why do think they want to resolve this issue?
This sounds simple, I’d love to know why only two are stacked before removing regulations. Is it less safe due to earthquakes? Are there unintended consequences when stacking 6 high that one may not initially be aware of?
Here’s your answer to getting the ships off the coast for your constituents. Mind helping Ryan out with access?
I've heard that exporters are having trouble getting containers because prices in Asia have owners preferring to send them back empty asap... Diverting more empties to exporter warehouses might improve the situation?
Well thought out and simply brilliant.
Your model seems to be that this isn’t the situation they desire. Why would you think that? The “never let a crisis go to waste” people are in power.
But I think some of the problem is there's nowhere to PUT the stuff taken out of the ports. Warehouses are out of space. Companies are out of warehouses.
If the labor issue could get resolved - anyone know what this space is used for? You don’t need warehouses to stack containers - just space. The top part is Navy base, not sure about the whole area? Anyone local who knows?
know anyone?
Important for the leaders to read this pretty simple action plan... Thanks @typesfast
So the problem is we don't have leadership and we regulated ourselves to death. Nice.
You think Democrats want to solve the problems they created? 😂
This feels like @balajis warning about COVID in Jan 2020
(No comment)
Seems your plan is a version of the storage issue/plan first introduced by --> "From Chaos to Complicated", Oct 10.
Any insight into whether or not Fortis Analysis is working with @SecretaryPete @POTUS @GavinNewsom and team?
You're right that this is a federal problem; it is not a "California Problem"; LB/LA is a choice made by the shipping companies and their port operators (long term contracts). Aside from this, there are way too many independent moving parts. Only strong federal action can do it.
Hey @GavinNewsom have you or your office seen this tweet thread? Suggest you read it and start to do something to help clear up this mess. @POTUS suggest you guys look at this and start to implement a plan that addresses all of the issues ASAP. @PeteButtigieg please review & act
It all sounds good, but my question is: are there sufficient truckers available to haul the stuff out? I mean...isn't a trucker shortage part of how the containers got backed up in the first place?
Truckers want to work, especially the independent ones. If the money is right, they will make it happen. Help make it easy for them to grab backhauls and make good money in both directions—they will show up. These people are used to having to adjust on the fly.
Where are all the unemployed truck drivers spoken of? Aren’t shipments out of west coast ports at record highs? On a personal note I prefer semi drivers have a license.
Many of them were idle during the pandemic, so got new jobs. Many are not going back to driving.
The weak link in that plan is asking Sleepy Joe @POTUS to take action. What's Plan B?
Augh - I thought this was a plan they were putting into action and was marveling at the government using its power in creative and effective ways to solve a critical problem. If only
The problem is lack of drivers, not lack of chassis. Plenty of boxes, not enough drivers.
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#mba #ports “create yard space” is what can help move goods waiting on container ships to store shelf. I wonder if this is an optimization problem than can be solved with AI such as the those tackled at San Diego Super Computer Center.
What do you think @VGolfierV ?
Could @naviscargo help with putting the plan together?
This is where it breaks down. People like Biden/Newsom don't partner with the private sector. They punish and fine the private sector. Wonder how that'll work?
(No comment)
Are there rail lines nearby? It sounds like moving containers out of populated areas via rail convoys could help free up space. SE California has plenty of desert space.
I’m hearing Jonah here…
Idea : Use the Commerce Clause for what it was originally intend. Void the BS California regulations that are preventing independent truckers from coming in and moving the cargo out of state.
Any B-Schooler would refer to this as a Herbie! 😀
has an autonomous yard shifting solution that’s revolutionizing how yard shifting is done. Check them out👀
Right, you have to shoot the donkeys.
Theory of constraint calls it “ELEVATE THE BOTTLENECK”, but as a long as we get rid of the bottleneck, I am all for it.
The next problem is the trains that haul everything to the rest of the peasants in the middle of the Country. When the whole MidWest and Texas froze for like 10 days it stopped the trains and messed up the tracks because we never pay to fix our infrastructure
Why did this bottleneck manifest at this precise point of time? The same infra and unions and laws has not produced this bottleneck before. What happened?
The ports continued to take in containers and used up all available space when drivers stopped picking them up?
Stimulus happened 😏
Aren't all the empty lots around these industrial areas being used officially and unofficially as squatter camps for the homeless? That's the way it is in Oakland, California.
The people running the yards took in too many containers.
What is normal process for empties? Do they get loaded onto ship right after full ones are unloaded? Why aren’t empties being loaded onto empty ships? Seems ultimately this has to also be the focus?
Doesn't the sky-rocketing price of land in west coast cities make yard space more capital intensive than cranes?
They need to cycle the containers out of active outgoing freight yards into passive storage nearer to where they are needed for new goods. The place has clogged arteries and needs a bypass
How about an EO requiring shipper load an empty for each laden one. Or a ship full of empties per #/days or unloads. Since low # of exports, start reducing empties volume in yards to offset or we’ll continue to compound the imbalances. Along w/temp yards, more impactful & focused
Wasn't there a new yard open in the summer in LB? What happened with this space? is it full yet?
What I don’t understand is what caused the bottleneck to move from the cranes to the yard space in the first place?
good thread - but Actually, loaded ships are bottleneck Travel time from China is 12 days. Need to get ships turned around fast. Cranes, storage & chassis should all be over provisioned. The design should include that there is always cranes available
How are the ships the bottleneck? They're literally sitting at the port waiting to unload.
A round trip via $100M container ship is 24 days. So 24 days is minimum cycle time. Every other resource is subordinate. On a greenfield port design - goal would be to design significant excess capacity on $30M cranes, chassis, storage etc. Longbeach has 17 cranes.
17 cranes - theoretical capacity is 45 containers per hour - but they far below this. 24x17x45 = 18K containers per day. Avg ship is 24K containers. So entire port capacity is 1 ship per day. 100 ships currently waiting. Back of the napkin - we need another 100 cranes
thanks for the thread Ryan - I agree with your thought process and this is a solvable problem that needs competent leadership
The Port of Los Angels has 82 container cranes and the Port of Long Beach has 69 container cranes.
Well, in the age before containers it was unloading the ship (breakbulk); and containers made it sooo fast. New bottlenecks will appear and disappear depending on situational dynamics.
🤯 I’m going to enjoy thinking about how this could apply to my architecture practice.
That's not always true. In a queueing system, maximizing the utilization of the most expensive server may not optimize overall system. It can lead to excess system-level WIP. The WIP explosion can create a phase change to non-linear behavior which cripples flow.
What is the name of this field of study? I love this stuff and want to learn more.
The practice is called operations management, the analytical theory behind it is called operation research, and the theory behind the behavior of waiting lines and flows in systems with variability is called queueing theory. Much of it is not obvious, even to smart people.
See also: Eliyahu Goldratt's Theory of Constraints.
thus is a great thread
Holy crap, it sure is.
Sounds suspiciously like Andy Grove's High Output Management!
i am leaning in
This first sentence is HUGE
Not always, the bottleneck is whatever restricts output and doesn't necessarily have to be capital intensive. That said, your thread is very illuminating and, if true, highlights many opportunities for rapid improvement.
I think this is the most valuable tweet of this entire thread.
Amazing how a good book comes back to you when you run a business or are problem solving. Reminds of the book - The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt.
I wrote this down. Thank you for sharing that!
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The Goal Best business book ever.
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Bottlenecks MUST be located as close to the beginning of a process as possible. Where is that? China?
no that is not correct and it is not at all what he said.
It's is, actually correct. Read "The Goal" by Goldratt, or get a degree in Industrial Engineering. Or work in manufacturing.
Why would you want to locate the bottleneck in China and leave all the ships and cranes and trucks under used?
We shouldn't buy so much from China. How is this so hard to understand? We can buy from other places or make more here.
I am sorry your mother is also your sister. Maybe with enough therapy you can manage to function in society.
Also i am pretty certain the topic is unloading cargo ships.
This is factually incorrect
Excellent point!!!!
theory of constraints 101 from The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt.... Didn't McKinsey make Buttigieg read this?
That's *puts on sunglasses* The Goal
You had to take a boat ride to figure this out?
Give the containers to the homeless.
Instruct the "union" to hire more people and move those empty containers. Hire owner operator truck drivers to remove empty containers into any location possible, not just designated ones. Looks like the unions are screwing this up. They have had it easy for too long.
Simple? You are missing a ton of inputs and outputs. Aka you are over simplifying the issue(s).
You do an emergency halt on the City of Long Branch zoning issue that is causing the needed chassis to be unavailable. Get the Pres, Gov and Mayor in a meeting and fix this issue.
No, Ryan, only limited mitigation to ease the pain. It is a long term structural problem that need unwinding and permanent federal regulation (a la: aircraft and railroads). There are way too many parts. There are some near term mitigations that will help however.
They should temporarily suspend the Cali-looney law that prevents trucks older than 2011 to transport goods from a Cali port.
How might this play out downstream if left unchanged? Are there more efficient ways to route incoming ships now? IF you can stack 6 containers on a ship but can only stack 2 on land, then why aren’t they loading the empties back onto ships for temp storage - just temporarily?
sorry, pedantic, it's a positive feedback loop with negative consequences
Yeh was confused for a second there
Funny how Off shoring production over last 40 years by vulture capitalists never comes up. Is Consumerism our religion or just another virus 🦠 ?
It’s human nature. Try and fight it
You would think we should have a federal agency to address this. Something to do with Transportation and commerce. If only...
What do you think this is? The socialist 70s?
Well the economy certainly looks like the 70's
Don't worry, Pete Buttigieg is on it. He once got some buses running in South Bend, Indiana. Sort of.
Same problems globally UK Trailers (not just containers) are full of goods not getting offloaded into warehouses/distribution centres
Technically it is a positive feedback loop. A negative feedback would dampen the effect while a positive one makes the it worse, like audio feedback causing screeching with a microphone
I always tell people that stuff like this is a positive feed back cycle with a negative effect. Otherwise the point is lost.
It is only a negative effect if it not the effect you desire. There are plenty of situations where a cascading effect is wanted.
Came here to say this lol 👍
It’s all about the labor, that simple.
I would say it's been good but it hasn't really
The most important part of temporary crisis plans is to continuously go back to the starting point for creating them. Otherwise they become susceptible to the same feedback loops and expand the problem instead of resolve the original issue.
You mean positive feedback loop. The negative feedback loop is balancing. Positive feedback loop is reinforcing ... into oblivion
Does that mean we can go back to good paying MFG jobs in US? I could care less about China
Seems like the global economy shouldn't depend on such a small margin of error then
destroying the global economy.. haha calm down.. please keep in mind that not every port on the planet is as incompetent as the port of LA
That is positive feedback. Negative feedback dampens
God willing
yes yes, oh shit, keep going i'm almost there
This is worldwide issue, still not sure who is gaining. Tarrifs jumped in a year more than in 2009. Not good
Yep, can confirm from my front row seat across the country... 😛…
The other problem is that the yards are full to bursting with stacks of containers awaiting pickup because of scheduling issues & truck driver & chassis shortage; makes everything move a little slower when there's no elbow room
View of the ships from the sky last Tuesday
If the @USNationalGuard is brought in, would love to see those ports offer permanent jobs to unemployed @USNationalGuard.
I saw three container ships off the coast IN MALIBU yesterday, looking like sci-fi dystopian floating cities.
So if everything is expired by time it makes it to stores. Will be the deflation we have been waiting for? Friend was asking...
They need to be diverted. Available resources are COMMITTED!!!
Why can't the newly unloaded ship, then be loaded with the empty containers and returned to whence it came?
He mentioned that "the containers are not fungible between carriers" plus I think they really don't have the space to juggle containers in the port. I've watch with my preschooler a dumpster truck change out a full dumpster. First have to put the empty one down in the street...
then pick up the full one from the house demolition then put that down somewhere else on the street, pick up the empty one and put it in front of the house then finally go pick up the full one and go off to the dump. I've also heard that there's a container shortage in Asia...
so they must be sailing empty ships back there when it should be arranged that the empty ships go to another port to pick up empties before they go back. Something is telling me there are not enough ports to do this.
Why can't the containers be piled up in desert cities like Palmdale where there is plenty of flat land ? Are the trucking companies responsible for safety of the empties ?
Why doesn't the (Chinese?) (American?) government send empty ships to the port to pick up empty containers?
Cancel Christmas
Where are empty containers usually sent? Back to the ship they arrived on? Is this a labor shortage or a logistics issue around empty container handling?
Another startup out in the desert could take those empties and hold them. Even with the added expense, it would be cheaper than the money lost in traffic. Blimp lift them!
Great analysis. Thanks. Is their any consideration to the chasis owners who generally move them worldwide on a supply demand basis. The "chasis shock" is due to their global supply of chasis never been in a world wide shortage. What's their responsibility to not be fragile?
Where are these chassis all being stored? Is there some place that can store chassis with empties on them, but not the empties alone?
Yes. You can store a chassis with an empty on it anywhere that you can park a truck. But to store an empty, you need someplace with a crane that can move containers onto and off of a chassis.
How will this impact the prices for empty containers on the continent, if at all?
why they don’t place the empty containers in low use land (dessert land) and go back to Long beach?
Why aren't empty containers being taken away?
They need a crane to store them on their ends so they are tall, not stacked.
Maybe a strange question, but do you have empty depots in your region? Here in NW Europe terminals do not accept empty units (for storage). They are stored at dedicated empty depots awaiting to be stuffed with cargo.
In this situation, if I were him, I'd be tempted to say, "I dare you!"
If your livelihood was at stake, would you?
Of all the components of this supply chain pileup this one stands our as the single most bonkers. Zoning re: empty stack heights sucking up all the pin chassis in LA/LB. 🤯 How did the cities not waive this at the first sign of trouble?
TBC I'm not saying it's the worst component. Just the dumbest and silliest. Truly low hanging fruit.
Well first you need 6 months of community meetings for public input. Then you need to fight off the inevitable law suits. Thats if you an convince the people in charge that its their problem to begin with.
OMG, it's funny but also sad.
I thought only we Germans do such crazy regulations…
Isnt there a desert 1-2 hr east of long beach? A mobile crane big enough to remove empties is 1000$ per day in TN.
As an uninformed observer, what is the justification for this? Seems like it might be worth striking.
Oh wow. Well, there isn’t a “justification” in a way that you would consider objective, but to get a sense of the reason, follow @nextdoorsv
I’m sure there’s a similar account for LA.
Striking? “Uninformed” is an understatement. Just what would that accomplish there, Einstein?
I just realized this was an insult lol. I meant strike as in remove the rule because it seems silly on it's face. Workers striking would be untenable in these circumstances. Thanks for the catch 👍
Good on you my man😎
Sounds like an opportunity for desert storage of containers
How on earth is an issue this trivial and stupid choking the life out of the global economy? Good lord.
The zoning laws don't stop him unloading his chassis and storing empty containers two high. That's his choice. Overflow storage off-site springs to mind.
There is a huge lot on Carson street with containers stacked 6 high. Not sure where this person is located that he's not allowed to go higher than 2.
The 2 high is for Trucking depots and yards, like the port truck accesses. If youre running a warehouse, that seems fine So the cokepoint places you might need to have the ability to stack a lot on in and out flow for variable high throughput are the places you're not allowed to
That is fucked up. No emergency authority for this, as seems they store them plenty high everywhere else.
Why not store the empty containers vertically temporarily?
Could only do one layer high, for fear of toppling over? Cool idea if they can secure them.
THat's not correct - I lived in Long Beach and they store them 4-5 high all over the place. Check out google street view here:
Google Maps
Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.
It's possible there is a local difference depending on the neighborhood but I don't know where that could be.
I'm not certain, but that doesn't appear to be a truck yard. They probably are zoned differently than however this plot is zoned.
So, I looked into it. The height restriction is specific to areas being used specifically as trucking terminals or yards.…
For everyone saying "Well, I've seen them stack containers higher elsewhere in Long Beach", you're probably right! The stacking limit of 2 containers appears to be specific to trucking terminals and yards and not other industrial facilities. Here's the relevant zoning code:
And the lot you're showing in street view definitely isn't being used as a trucking terminal/yard (or isn't law abiding one, at least). It isn't following any of the setback, landscaping, and fencing requirements that are also particular to these types of facilities.
Ah very interesting. Yeah - that's some kind of storage lot specifically for containers I think. It's been that way for 12+ years, or since before I lived in Long Beach.
Looks like that parcel is zoned Medium Industrial (IM), so it might be in violation of the Long Beach Municipal Code?
does it always come back to zoning??
Hey @SupJaniceHahn your Ordinance from 15 years ago is rearing its head on the national supply chain.
appears to have space. And there’s definitely empty lots close to the terminals where empty containers could be temporarily stored heck @PortofSeattle even
please fix this zoning code for the economy
In Seattle they pile containers at least 8 high in the yards.
This one seems like a solvable problem. The city could easily find more space somewhere or relax zoning temporarily .
For everyone saying "Well, I've seen them stack containers higher elsewhere in Long Beach", you're probably right! The stacking limit of 2 containers appears to be specific to trucking terminals and yards and not other industrial facilities. Here's the relevant zoning code:
That's Longbeach specific, where there are very few if any truck yards or terminals. Longbeach isn't all that big, it's mostly container terminals and there are exceptions for Port Indst. Changing those restrictions won't have much of an impact. Its like one yard, maybe.
They would need to make them earthquake safe.
Can you lean on this hoss??
Force California to allow doubles to operate. You cannot e a 40 and a 20 foot co trainer with one truck.
Empty containers? No problem. Fill them with water balloons
probably another good reason the port of Houston is doing fine. They can probably stack stuff to the moon and no one would bat an eye
It’s always the fucking zoning.
interesting thread on some zoning issues causing container problems affecting us supply chain
So they can't give a temporary exemption?
Great thread! Something like 60% of all containers for the nation go through the port of LA and LB!!
See my comment 2 back ... this is stupid (a non-constructive local regulation). This is asking for preemptive regulation. Just try to enforce this in a rail yard (no way Jose; federal jurisdiction)
They should approve a waiver
You got a citation for that regulation?
This issue is a red herring that many here have grabbed on to container storage/handling has become a well developed science with standards not to be messed with. The can be dangerous even when thought to be well secured. Aside from that it is a nimby issue.
Alternatively, send all empty containers directly via rail to offsite yard for reconfiguration into ADUs. Ship new container dwelling units off to jurisdictions and individuals on an auction platform. Traffic jam and some housing shortage alleviated.
This is the best one.
There’s also the truck emissions requirements? I haven’t worked in drayage for 10 years so may be wrong, but aren’t there both rail yards and truck yards inland who can unchassis containers? This seems like a solvable problem our gov doesn’t want to.
This is government in action.
Code schmode
Can he turn them sideways? 🤔
That why Long Beach has so many bottlenecks. Should come see Savannah’s port and you’ll see true efficiency.
LBC needs to do an immediate and temp moratorium, if that’s the case
Bureaucratic ineptitude? My shocked face 🤨
Zoning blocking American ingenuity yet again.
they just changed that today to 4 high
Fuck long Beach for this.
Looks like the rule is being suspended
Effective immediately Long Beach is allowing cargo to be stacked up to 4 containers high at container lots across the city. And up to 5 containers with safety approvals. Previously 2 had been the limit. This is a temporary move to address our national supply chain emergency.
It would be pretty funny if California zoning regulations destroyed the world.
Can they store the containers on their ends rather than lying flat?
We can do four and now possibly five stack. This should help. But this is a long term issue.
Containers can probably also be moved by semis with with flatbed or step side trailers as long as they are properly secured.
This is a great thread. This issue is extremely concerning, Ryan has some very concrete solutions that should be implemented.
X,'''/./m, I,..knl. Put k no
Can this possibly be true? Are there pictures? I mean seriously are they are piled up 3 high ON TOP OF A CHASSIS to just to get around city code? That is too stupid to believe
Non fungible containers
The dumb containers aren't fungible!? 😬
"containers are not fungible between carriers" 🤯
Why aren’t containers fungible between carriers? After reading “The Box” I thought that that was their goal. Curious.
Making the containers fungible would probably help somewhat, for instance the problem others noted with stacking empties 6-high would go away. I believe railroads have been doing this for a long time.
It sounds like container prices are going to crash here in America as companies try to offload them to free up ports.
Those darn NFCs.
I thought the whole point for shipping containers was to standardize fungibility. What are some of the incompatibilities?
Ownership and contracts mostly... There's also some considerations about previous cargo- don't want food in a container prev used for hazmat...
The containers are mostly standardized but their condition isn't, I am not going to exchange my brand new shiny container for your clunker on its last leg that has already been weld repaired half a dozen times.
(No comment)
YES. This is a really interesting insight. What if the containers were modular ?
Ah, the universal phone charger issue
Can they make it fungible between carriers?
And here, children, is where you realize a startup could make a killing buying and rebranding those containers.
Storage space is limited on land and logistics doen't support having multiple collection points in varying temporary locations, unless these collection points are barges in the port. Storing empty containers on barges eliminates truck yard overages, keeps containers isolated.
Why are the empty containers piling up in the first place? This seems like a very very stupid reason for a world trade haulting congestion.
Worker shortages from the pandemic finally rekt the efficiency of port automation. How ironic.
Wait - meaning the containers don’t fit different rigs, or they are only allowed to stay within same company. Assume the latter
How come there is room to park 450 chassis but not room to dump 450 containers onto that same spot? And two high cuts that in half.
Why aren't empty containers not getting loaded back onto the ships. No space at the port?
Such inflexibility demands countervailing regulation. Self inflicted constraint is not an excuse in a crisis. Try this sort of logic is a wartime situation and you get you head shot off. This is nothing be asking to be regulated.
This is bad planning. Domestic truckers use a "motor pool" where they can share resources among them.
This can be dealt with by ExecOrder.
Ok great work/great thread but u don't have to say fungible lol
Wait... why not?? I thought the whole promise and value of containerized shipping was the uniformity and... I guess... fungibility of containers. Is it just a matter of branding on the containers?
The containers are mostly standardized but their condition isn't, I am not going to exchange my brand new shiny container for your clunker on its last leg that has already been weld repaired half a dozen times.
Wasn't containerization invented to solve this exact problem?
Surely this specific aspect is fixable with some $$ and a couple of cans of paint. What’s the price of. Non fungible container on the open market?
If Biden’s going to get rid of zoning rules he may as well get @CRATEModular to do some supportive housing with some of these empties.
Why aren’t containers fungible across carriers? Wasn’t the point of containers to be fungible
Ill take their empties... (dont own land but my landlord has thus big lot i can borroq)
Can the chassis with empty containers move to a dump yard equivalent? Offsite Warehouses Yards which usually are empty. How about extend bonded warehouse network to unload empties outside of the terminal area and ease congestion.
Quick refurbishment and added amenities and make them tiny houses for the homeless. A few thousand bucks vs half-a-million for stick construction shack. Get creative!!!!!
This seems like the crux of the problem. Why can't the port authority just require the terminals to start accepting empties to clear the backlog?
But the government doesn’t have spare land to drop empties off? Right. Right. Got it. #fakenews
Do any of these empty containers fold flat? Seems like a good "long term" fix
Charter empty vessels to take away empties from your port, never mind the owner or line, send them back to Asia, to a port with more capacity like Singapore. Create an exit terminal just to send back containers. So the port can take in new containers from the ships queueing.
I’m thinking those empty containers could make a dent in the housing crisis. If I’d had a couple of the 2 months ago, I had a 35 acre property in Colorado I could have put them on.
So let me get this straight. No one in CA has the ingenuity to rent their spare land to drop empty containers off? Oh wait, our Govt doesn’t own any spare land to do so in order to break the log jam? #shame #fakenews
This is how it all collapses...
Are used container prices dropping?
It seems like just from a business perspective, their should be an opportunity for someone to buy some empty space out in the desert and start filling it with chassis.
So why is there a shortages of containers for sale? Shouldn’t one trip WWT containers be going for less, or some type of consignment arrangement?
Can someone explain what the chassis is referring to?
Why would they not be letting 1 for 1 swaps…
Except you can’t because of Californias new size restriction on commercial truck length
Makes sense, our country is no longer producing and exporting product. Everything is imported and nothing going back out. Thanks for sharing and more importantly..... Let's go Brandon!
California law requires the truck be less than 3 years old in order to be able to load. @AjaforCongress
are the pick-ups fungible at this point or is the trucker meant to pick a specific load?
Not enough truckers to pickup the containers is holding up the ports. I guess calling in the military to help is not an option. @POTUS @USTreasury @DNC @GOP @RandPaul @SenRonJohnson @SecDef @SecBlinken @USTradeRep
Been the case for awhile
They went from FIFI - First In First Out To LIFO - Last In First Out To FISH First In Still Here #supplychainfail
Once the terminals reach a 96% capacity from what I remember, they will screech to a halt. No need for ships to quickly work since the terminal efficiency has plummeted. Assuming some shippers have to be thinking about declaring a force majeure.
What stopped the normal flow in the first place?
Your explanation is very good, but what made that same system go from working to not working?
Immediate cause: COVID consumerism Long-term cause: off-shore manufacturing of every forking thing
You don’t think this is due to vaccine mandates for truckers, California’s destructive AB5 law that crushed owner operators or California’s environmental regulations that put a severe hamper on the types of trucks that can be on the road? You’re blaming consumerism?
Here's what changed! @POTUS 🤡🤷🏽‍♂️
The date also changed, maybe everything only works when the year isn’t 2021 Oh are we not just stating random things that changed at the same time? The question was asking for -cause- not coincidence
Lol... Maybe! 😁🤷🏽‍♂️
How much are California's trucking restrictions adding to this? People claiming that is expensive and risky taking up long-term hauling business in CA, and many types of trucks are not allowed there due to environmental regulation. Is this true?
Can we fast track housing permits for homes and ADUs built with containers and solve 2 problems at once?
Somebody or company owns the containers. You cannot confiscate for benefit to someone else.
Containers also aren't good building material.
Clearly many of the ships have made a bad choice as where to unload. Seattle/Tacoma utilization ~50%; Oakland similar, Portland wide open. All can handle most ships at LB/LA, have ample storage, and excellent rail connections. Not all that cargo is for SoCal. Looks like suicide.
You're bottleneck is also based on the limitation of destinations. Even if the port and trucks run 24 hours a day the destinations do not and so you just move the bottleneck from port to truck because you can't force cargo recipients to operate 24 hours a day to receive goods
If they don't have land to store containers on, they must rent it. If they can't rent it, they can't move any containers. And it goes back to square one again.
I guess we really did need Ever given to block up the channel again
I’ve also heard it’s a massive shortage of truckers in LA. They’re offering signing bonuses and higher salaries for truckers
Can some containers be donated to homeless charities, tiny home initiatives, or Habitat for Humanity? Tell them it's yours. Come pick it up.
the containers are private property of the shipping company or individual. they are still needed for shipping
So if the bottleneck is yard space, why do we have leaders who think that throwing more man hours at the situation is going to resolve the issue? This will likely turn into a defining crisis of the current admin, and yet it seems like they make their decisions in a vacuum.
Maybe it's time to lower taxes on corporations that move manufacturing back to USA. WE NEED... Made in USA. DON'T NEED. Designed in USA. Designed in California. (a-holes at apple) Not assembled in USA. Made in China.
How about paying your fair share in the USA?
Route some ships to Charleston. We have no backlog here. Normal ops as of now. What's it cost to run a ship roundtrip through the Panama Canal vs. idling off Long Beach for 6 weeks?
That's a very long route to and through the Panama Canal.
We have drone videos of the entire port when needed. much easier to view than on a boat. glad you had fun
Send them to Texas!
That’s exactly what he said not to do.
I totally understand the thread and the issues with empties. But a “standstill?” POLA Exec Director Seroka said last week that Sept was highest TEU processing in 114 year history of the port. YTD throughput in Aug of 7.3 men TEUs is 32% higher than in 2019. What am I missing?
You’re missing that this is a sales pitch
👍 Picked up on that at the end.
"A 3 hour tour"
The port of Oakland had one container ship in port last night and they were not working cargo. All other docks EMPTY!
Ships are being redirected from LA & Stockton to Vancouver. Our trucking industry is robust & our ports are being expanded.
What's wrong with the Crain operators???
Question is why are some of these ships not going to Oakland? Oakland port says they are open, and have space... It is as big and deep as LA
EXACTLY! App based driver in LA. In last 2 months, I’ve been in Long Beach San Pedro about 10 times. As I looked across the horizon each time I can never see ONE container on the air.
What time of day was your tour?
May be a daft question, but why are there so many empty containers? What's changed?
More fun than grieving families - that’s a pretty low bar Ryan but I’m glad you got over it.
well, they do work for tips.
A lot more fun? Really? Folks who weren’t mourning a dead person were more fun than folks who were mourning a dead person? Doesn’t ring true for me, sorry. 🤷🏻‍♂️
How has no media entity or reporter done this yet. Great work to shed light on arguably our nation’s most important story at the moment.
Well, I least he had a ore upbeat trip presumably
Interesting. We rented a boat for a 3 hour tour of Long Beach a few weeks ago. Our captain said port tours have been a staple of the industry for many years:
The Current State of The Supply Chain
They are stacking containers x 4’s now... bring those ships to Oakland they can take them.
its wild what California regulates when it comes to water... and this dude is out there dumping ash piles of grandpas
There's extensive regulation involved, at both the state and federal level. Most notably, you must go at least three nautical miles from shore, ensure that anything scattered (including flower petals, etc.) is biodegradable, and have a state license.…
"Cremated Remains Disposer" is the license type; you get it from the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau Licensing Unit of the Department of Consumer Affairs. (The biodegradable requirement is mostly a "no plastic containers" requirement.)…
Noticing a trend with your ”first off” humble brags lol…
First off, they told us that Flexport is the first outside company in the history of the port to send in a food truck as a sign of gratitude. They loved it. /2
Wow I love it someone with actual real word ideas. Good suggestions, with this kind of thinking don't go into politics, politics is no place for logic and reason.
I mean, you're not really supposed to drive pleasure craft around there
Instead of the yard being in California, put it in Arizona just over the border. Have the trains do that loop. It allows the trucks illegal in California to pick up containers in Arizona and get them moving. This is along I-10, so moving things east should be easy.
Its a good thing the Captain didn't think you were a regular.
The only time I've ever sailed with one of those private operators out of LB was, indeed, for a burial at sea. It never occurred to me to think about how the boat captain felt doing that all the time! Back and forth all day, everyday, with ashes and sad people for company. 😬
Ryan, hope you can get a meeting at least with Secretary Pete, and even the President. This sounds like a solid plan to implement.
Well yeah, since they are DEAD!
Hey, when we did my father-in-law’s memorial I think we were a fun group, he must be getting the grumpy mourners!
If only we had an acting Secretary of Transportation to help enact some of this
can we ask Newsom about this plan and getting Ryan involved in solutions?
this thread needs coverage on the pod. Not enough people are aware of this problem.
Ryan offers a good solution here too. There may be more that we can do to help. California has the largest shipping ports in the country (Long Beach/Los Angeles). Next largest are in Newark NJ and Georgia.
What about San Diego, San Pedro?
important but not nearly as big as the top ten U.S. ports
I don't know if this was asked already, serious question, aren't some containers subject to inspection? Is that part of the bottleneck too?
This is probably a bottleneck as well. Good point.
Container port (Long Beach), yes. There are larger ports by tonnage.
I have so much respect for a CEO who is willing get down on the ground like this. Great insight
Same here. Kudos to Ryan. Isn’t doing this kind of stuff table stakes though for being a CEO? Not referring to “laptop CEOs”.
Great thread & thanks for the insight 👍🏻 What a mess & just shows the true imbalance the world of Ocean Shipping is in.
What about direct loading all containers that are not destined for the LA area to rail and transport them to some other location outside the LA area for processing further distribution. Don't let them touch the ground in them Ports of LA/LB.
Agree. Freight routes need to be adjusted before leaving Asia. So many other ports with capacity that could be tapped; changing the destination before ships sail could prevent further congestion.
I've been somehow following this port chaos and been wondering if there's ever any gov officials do this, come to port and observe and learn up close what the issues are so they can come up with concrete solutions?
Do you realize how inept most of the government officials are? They can’t manage to do anything well. Have you been to the DMV and seen the voting lines? Now we want them to solve a logistical issue. God help us!
I know exactly what you’re talking about. I was merely hoping that at least there’s someone from the gov, local or federal, would have the initiative to do their jobs, at the very least root cause analysis. I’m still hoping LB mayor would answer Ryan’s call (tag) on Twitter lol
Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve clearly never worked with government officials. Lol
Not really. Our broken electoral system means that politicians are mostly concerned with fundraising for the next cycle, so any time spent doing things like that is a waste if they don't get a big PR boost for it. End choose one voting and publicly fund elections.
Why would they? How are politicians incentivized to solve problems? Solving problems doesn’t get the re-elected, shaking hands with rich people and inflaming tensions does.
I guess you didn't read the whole thread?
Solid thread, Ryan. Great assessment and plan. Love the call to action and offer to help. Sign me up if they call on you to lead the effort. I agree it’s dire without action.
Has the flow of goods coming increased recently, or has it remained relatively constant? If it has increased, is the increase organic, driven by American companies? Or has China identified economic / policy weaknesses that they are intentionally exploiting for secondary reasons?
Hey Ryan is there anything we can do to put pressure on local gov?
I was part of a process excellence team in the Middle East a few years back. We reduced average waiting time outside Jebel Ali port from 24 hours to 8 hours. It was combination of many small improvements that brought the aggregate improvement. I should make a thread 🧵🤣
I'd like to read your thread.
Please do and also contact @typesfast
Please do, that is awesome. Where do you work now?
I already created the thread 🧵 and tagged you. To answer your question, I am now in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) but I have so much port experience and no where to utilize it. I am currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Hit my DM and we can pick up the conversation. Thanks
I’ve loved learning about Flexport on-the-ground experiences and experience in Long Beach. And this solution is brilliant and needs to executed asap. But I read this entire thread and never saw a single taco truck. 🤨
From my understanding much of the supply chain is privately controlled, the truck shortage is tied to union busting, and we have a major labor shortage. Combine all those things ( and also don’t forget that truck drivers aren’t getting paid to wait)
And what you laid out is an awesome solution that is impossible to implement. I commend you going to the ports ( my biz is connected to the SC as well) but from everything I know- we are too late for this holiday ( certainly) and will be looking in 2023 w bottlenecks
Why is it impossible to implement?
She has no idea what the fuck she is talking about. Ignore
And this systemic downward spiral bottleneck... It never reveals itself before now!? I'm sorry, but what you have uncovered is likely a symptom not a cause. Tell me why empties never accumulated like this before in more vibrant economic conditions?
Let’s go Brandon!
We just experienced a huge global slowdown followed by the current surge. The system wasn't designed to handle large surges. It's a steady-state system. Increasing the size of the buffers will help.
There is no steady state with a complex system like this..there is always a constant ebb and flow..and buffers of sufficient size would already exist from prior, higher throughput economic conditions.
The devil is in the rate of change, if you define your steady state to be within certain parameters (variability/error) your statement is false. If you universally define steady state as a constant without a margin of change you are correct. Balance is an illusion.
My point is, there is no on/off to the economy..things would ramp up in all cases..this overwhelming 'surge' theory is a nice narrative.. but I think if we look at a staffing chart or two we might get closer to what the real cause is here 😉
The heart of it is what happened to create the bottleneck. Thumbing the scales too hard will easily push a system beyond its normal variance. But I agree with the staffing chart.
Rereading your tweet, I'm not sure the cause is of any importance at this point. I equally am enjoying the 'smart' people being incapable of coming up with a solution. The same smart people who fought off a pandemic... dramatization below.
Governments around the world literally tried forcing an on/off to the economy. This is reason number 49,374 why that was one of the worst ideas in history.
They do not. That's exactly what the article is describing. No place to offload the empties ties up the trucks, which can't full containers, so the cranes and ships sit idle. Imagine what happens when the producers run out of empties...
I get what it is is a symptom..the function that takes the empties away is not functioning at a sufficient rate anymore...surge is baloney, buffer is band aid thinking..this is likely a manufactured problem or a slow down protest by people who know how to slow it