Empty containers become a focal point in push to ease Los Angeles port congestion

The Port of LA has too many empty containers sitting around. They are taking up space that could be moved to ease the congestion in the terminals.

But terminals can’t be made to clear the empties. And ocean carriers may not be in a hurry to move them out to pick up more cargo. It’s almost as cheap to simply build new containers for the exports in China.

So what to do? That’s what the Port and the terminal operators are wrrestling with. They can’t all be made into container houses. And it seems we are seeing refusals of ag exports using them.

Perhaps we should consider scrapping them and resell the steel, as we do with old ships. The Port could charge the container owner for the scrapping work, and keep the scrap steel money.

It’s not just emissions from container shipping that have sustainability problems. Too many containers littering the landscape is not sustainable either. It’s as if your Amazon packages arrived daily, but you had nowhere to dump the boxes; soon your house would be full of cardboard. And unlike containers, the Amazon boxes fold up!!

If ocean carriers and the container shipping business are serious about ESG concerns, stopping dumping empty containers on the importing countries seems like an easy place to start to improve things

Published Nov. 17, 2021 Edwin Lopez



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