Supply chain and logistics experts recently gathered for the Port of Long Beach’s annual “Pulse of the Ports: Peak Season Forecast” where they discussed the outlook for the industry in 2011. The general consensus was that international trade will continue to grow in 2011, though it will be modest growth compared to the double digit gains in 2010.
The key to success in 2011, as panelists pointed out, is planning for the future. Just as MTOs have been watching decreasing cargo volumes and responding accordingly, we need to continue to look ahead to ensure we are prepared for the upcoming peak season.
We are continuing to review weekly and monthly cargo volumes, talk to terminal operators and steamship lines about what trends they are seeing, and talk to cargo owners about what their expectations on cargo movements are this season.
As cargo volumes increase, the MTOs will review and reinstate flex gates and the noon hour relief and increase labor as appropriate to ensure that congestion is not a problem during the Summer peak season.