California Propeller Clubs’ Meeting Focuses on Railroads’ Impact on California Ports

The Propeller Clubs of Northern California and of Los Angeles and Long Beach convened a joint forum to discuss the impact of U.S. railroads on California ports.

On September 14th, maritime stakeholders from Northern and Southern California attended the virtual event where they heard the following reports:

Jessica Alvarenga, government affairs director Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), reported that average rail dwell time for containers moving on rail destined for Midwest destinations from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach averaged “11.8 days in June.”

However, on September 17th, PMSA reported the rail dwell time had declined to 8.2 days:

“Dwell time in August for containers leaving via rail was down compared to the month before. The railroads worked hard to drop the average dwell time for containers leaving via rail to 8.2 days, down from 11.3 days in July. 42.7% of containers leaving on rail remained on terminals for more than 5 days, also down from 53.4% the month before.”

In January of 2021 the average rail dwell time at the two Southern California ports was “7.9 days,” Alvarenga said.

She explained that the rail dwell time is measured from the time the container “leaves the terminal once it’s been offloaded from the vessel” until the container departs by rail for Midwest destinations.

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