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The port of Long Beach said its truck turn times have been better than those at Los Angeles for at least four months.

The port of Long Beach said its truck turn times have been better than those at Los Angeles for at least four months.

Truck turn times at Long Beach tracked closely with turn times at Los Angeles in the first half of the year, HTA reported. From January through March, Long Beach turn times were slightly worse than turn times at Los Angeles by about four minutes in each month; in April and May, both ports were basically tied; and in June, Long Beach truck turn times were faster by six minutes. However, Long Beach’s turn times pulled ahead in July by 12 minutes, and by 11 minutes and 20 minutes in August and September, respectively, HTA said. September is the latest month for which data is available.While one analyst says port congestion was worse at Long Beach than at Los Angeles in the past six months, Art Wong, spokesperson for the port of Long Beach, told today that’s not necessarily true, pointing to mobility data collected by the Harbor Trucking Association.

The trucking association’s data counters a report released Tuesday from CargoSmart, Wong said. CargoSmart reported that vessel arrival delays from April 22 to Oct. 22 were about three hours shorter at Los Angeles than Long Beach, and berth times ― the difference between the time of arrival and time of departure ― were 17 hours shorter at Los Angeles than Long Beach. Larger vessels were hurt the most by congestion at both ports, according to CargoSmart, but the Hong Kong-based logistics software provider did not say which port handled more ships of larger sizes.

“What if, on average, Long Beach ships are larger than those at Los Angeles?” Wong said. “Maybe some of our ships are bigger, and it takes another day to unload them. I don’t see such a difference in the truck turn time numbers. We’re on par with LA and in many cases better than LA.”

Wong pointed to JOC’s Port Productivity data, which measures efficiency using average container moves per vessel per hour, rather than the length of time a ship is at dock. In the first half of 2014, the latest period for which data is available, Long Beach moved an average of 84 containers per ship per hour, more than Los Angeles, which averaged 80 moves per hour.

“Big ships is a big part of this story,” Wong said. “It’s been a part of this story since earlier in the year, and it remains a factor now.”

CargoSmart told on Nov. 6 that from April 22 to Oct. 22, Los Angeles handled more vessels than Long Beach, and more vessels of 10,000 TEUs or more. During the six-month period, Los Angeles handled 1,545 vessels, of which 167 were ships of 10,000 TEUs or more, while Long Beach handled 1,337 ships in total, of which 163 were ships of 10,000 TEUs or more. However, ships of 10,000 TEUs or more accounted for 12.2 percent of the total ships handled at Long Beach, but at Los Angeles, 10.8 percent of the total ships had capacities of more than 10,000 TEUs.

Big ships was listed as the No. 1 reason for the current congestion at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, as the largest ships in U.S. trade lanes are calling in Southern California. Each vessel generates 5,000 to more than 10,000 container moves during the several days it is in port, stressing berth, yard and gate operations.

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