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Port Hueneme looks to ease SoCal cargo ship congestion

Posted at 9:16 AM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 12:16:09-04

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (KERO) — A port in California is stepping up to help with the national supply chain crisis.

Some ships that are unable to wait to offload cargo in Los Angeles and Long Beach are sailing up the coast to Port Hueneme.

The traditional cargoes at the Port of Hueneme are bananas, fresh produce, cars and fertilizer.

But with the current backlog of ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Port of Huenemes CEO and director says they have become a relief valve for the congestion at the bigger ports down south.

"When cargo comes from Asia to trans-shipment hubs in South America, it can jump on a ship and come up to Hueneme that way. We're also seeing some smaller size vessel charter ships out of smaller niche shipping lines in Asia and bring their cargo here this way," said Kristin Decas, Port of Hueneme CEO port director.

Decas says the Port of Hueneme is also helping out on the export side.

"And we're seeing those containers come here to Port Hueneme and be able to get on ships and move to South America trade lanes. In fact, just this first quarter alone, our export volume is up 219%," said Decas.

And to avoid the bigger ports, some vessels are now unloading all of their containers at the Port of Hueneme.

"We certainly can help move certain types of commodities that are more time sensitive to the market, say electronics and other commodities can now start coming through here," said Decas

While on a tour of the operations, Decas explained why we don't see any congestion at this traditionally 24/7 port.

"We bring a container in, it gets checked in, it gets put on a chasse and then it goes out to a distribution facility outside the gate where it gets inspected by customs there, hence you don't have bottlenecking here inside the gate and at the gate of the port," she said.

Decas is glad to hear the governor has ordered other ports to start looking into off-site storage areas or distribution facilities.

"It's important that we continue to act as that operating port, that conductor, to make sure that all aspects of the supply chain are in check and have the capability to handle the volume of cargo coming through this operation," said Decas.