US Navy opens base to help relieve ports congestion in California

Los Angeles, Nov 24 (IANS): The US Navy opened facilities in Port Hueneme, located less than 160 kM north of the Port of Los Angeles, to help alleviate ports congestion in Southern California. According to a report from maritime news website gCaptain, a standing Joint Use Agreement with Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) and the Oxnard Harbor District allows the Navy to support commercial supply chain logistics when activated for emergency use, reports Xinhua news agency.

Port Hueneme is the West Coast homeport of the Navy’s famous construction battalion, the Seabees, which is responsible for building much of the temporary and permanent infrastructure at US military locations around the world. Several 40-foot containers had been off-loaded into lot 22 onboard Port Hueneme, and the move is expected to have a direct impact in helping to support holiday supply demand, said Daniel J. Herrera, assistant program director for port operations, NBVC, according to the report.

The Navy entered into the joint agreement with local authorities in 2002, authorising commercial use of a wharf at the Naval base plus approximately 21 acres of contiguous land, two buildings, and if available overflow land, the report said. Maritime expert Sal Mercogliano, who suggested activating the ready reserve fleet last month in a YouTube segment titled How to Clear the Ports of Los Angeles, told gCaptain that the opening of NBVC was a small step to resolving the ports’ congestion. “The problem is that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach offloaded less cargo in October than they did last October.

The number of containers dwelling is not falling at any consistent rate and the number of ships waiting to offload is at record levels. The use of Hueneme is a step, but not enough to clear the backlog,” Mercogliano was quoted as saying. Till date, 92 ships are at anchor or loitering outside the twin ports and 58 are at berths, according to data released by the Marine Exchange of Southern California, which provides statistics and information on ships calling at major ports in the region.

 

  




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