There are two reasons why shipping is backed up currently. One is COVID but the other is driven by the state of California - all semi-trucks must meet new California pollution regulations.
As a result, if vehicles are to pick up or transport containers at particular ports, they must be less than three years old.
Operating the port 24 hours a day, seven days a week will not solve the problem since it will only pile up additional containers that will lie idle while waiting for a restricted number of vehicles to pick them up.
The US Environmental Protection Agency stated today that it has reached agreements with three interstate trucking companies, totaling $417,000 in fines, for breaching the California Air Resources Board's regulations.
"Because trucks are one of California's most significant sources of air pollution, EPA will continue to ensure that these heavy-duty vehicles are equipped with the necessary pollution-control equipment and operate in accordance with the rules," said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud.
"These businesses have pledged to bring their vehicles into compliance and operate in a more environmentally friendly manner in all of the communities they serve" he added.
Transportation is a major contributor to Southern California's and the Central Valley's high levels of air pollution.
California's federally enforceable strategy to achieve cleaner air included the Truck and Bus Regulation and the Drayage Truck Regulation.
Trucking companies in California are required to update their own vehicles to meet certain performance standards, as well as verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch.
In California, heavy-duty diesel trucks must satisfy 2010 engine emissions regulations or install diesel particulate filters to minimize diesel particle emissions by 85 percent or more.
Half of the country's truckers will be unable to pick up anything from the Port of Los Angeles or Long Beach as a result of the 2020 decision and settlement.
Transportation businesses began transporting products to the California state line, where they could be transferred to non-compliant vehicles that were not allowed to enter the state.
No amount of increased efficiency at the docks offloading ships will solve the problem of trucks being unable to pick up and deliver containers to manufacturers or warehouses.
Several large multinational firms with finely tuned supply and logistics operations instantly identified the problem they would face if more than half of the trucking fleet was denied access to California ports.
To circumvent the predicted California port bottlenecks, they began coordinating new destination ports for their products and establishing new hubs and distribution networks.
The entire supply chain to the United States was being changed.
Wholesalers, brokers, and smaller businesses that supply raw materials and parts to industry and smaller retail outlets are delayed waiting for their containers to pass through the California trucking problem.
The key difficulty is California's inability to transfer those containers full of goods to factories, warehouses, and distribution hubs using emission-compliant heavy transportation.