Port Relief Dec 7
Newsom Expands Truck Weight Limits to Ease Port Congestion
Newsom traveled to the Port of Los Angeles to announce that his transportation department, CalTrans, is expanding truck weight limits on roads and highways servicing congested ports. The temporary permits will extend through June.
In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles is extending hours on Saturdays at 15 sites. This will double the amount of commercial tests for new drivers to 9,700 per month. The state has also identified 42 temporary storage sites for parking excess shipping containers.
Newsom noted that recent efforts like extending work hours at docks have led to a 32% drop in the number of containers that sit for more than nine days.
None of the $17 billion for ports in the federal infrastructure bill is earmarked for California ports specifically, but will be available through a competitive grant process. This means the state will have to “step up our game to be more aggressive, in terms of drawing down those federal dollars,” said Newsom.
CalTrans has already been permitting oversized agricultural trucks on state highways to mitigate the driver shortage.
A surge in consumer demand since the end of 2020, combined with labor shortages, has created delays and traffic jams at seaports across the globe, causing massive disruptions to the supply chains.
Containers have been stacked up at the LA ports’ docks for weeks waiting to be unloaded, but a shortage of on-dock workers and truck drivers has led to long delays in the process.