The Port of Long Beach’s largest container terminal closed truck gates Monday morning, raising alarm bells.
The port’s Total Terminals International, known as TTI, updated its schedule on Sunday that truck gates would be closed for Monday’s day shift, which typically operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
The sudden closure raised concern from some industry observers, who warned congestion or other issues could follow if disruptions were to continue throughout the week. The news came days after an ongoing labor dispute led to snarled terminal operations across several West Coast ports Friday.
However, it was not clear on Monday whether the truck gate closure at TTI was directly related to the ongoing contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.
The terminal was closed “due to operational needs,” port spokesperson Lee Peterson told Supply Chain Dive in a Sunday night email. “They have caught up on their cargo and they won’t need to work a vessel tomorrow.”
The Port of Long Beach remains open on Monday, Peterson added. TTI’s website and port dispatch records suggest terminals remain operational, even if truck gates are closed.
The terminal currently has three vessels, which arrived over the weekend but are not expected to depart until at least June 8. Dispatch records show longshore gangs, or groups of workers, were assigned to the three ships on Monday morning, but it will take several more days to finish work on the ship. However, all goods should already be in the terminal, since the cutoff date for truckers to bring containers destined for the ship has already passed.
For truckers, though, any change to truck gate schedules can cause ripple effects.
Ian Weiland, chief operating officer of Junction Collaborative Transports, said on LinkedIn all appointments for import load pickups during the day would be rescheduled as a result of the gate change. He added any empty containers destined for the terminal Monday would also have to be redirected, which could cause issues.
“All empties can NOT jam into one terminal at the same time across the entire Port Complex, AKA expect extended street days on MSC and Maersk empties for the near future,” Weiland wrote.