Cranes are moving, trucks are cruising (mostly), and business is booming at the nation's largest container port complex. Volumes in June jumped 14 percent at the Port of Los Angeles to a three-year high. Next door at the Port of Long Beach, June volumes were up 8 percent.
That's good news after overall volume fell 5 percent last winter during a contract dispute between dockworkers and shipping companies. Imports plummeted 20 percent in January and February, according to trade research firm Zepol.
So is business back to normal?
"Oh yes, absolutely," said Eugene Seroka, LA Port executive director.
"We're well ahead of last year," said his counterpart at the Port of Long Beach, CEO Jon Slangerup.
Not a moment too soon. Retailers will soon start shipping for the holiday season, and West Coast ports have to re-establish confidence and efficiency. Both were lost after the slowdown created epic congestion.
"There's been a lot of improvement, particularly since May," said Bruce Robertson, founding partner of BGI Worldwide Logistics. However, "I still think 25 percent of the trucks get stuck in the port for more than two hours."