Container Jam at L.A. Port

There appears to be no sailing around the breathtaking backup of container ships off the jammed ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Newly arriving vessels are adding to a record-breaking flotilla waiting to unload cargo that on Sunday reached 73 ships, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, nearly double the number a month ago and expanding a fleet that has become a stark sign of the disruptions and delays roiling global supply chains. 

Cargo Ship Logjam in Los Angeles Highlights Pandemic Supply-Chain Issues
An average of 30 container ships a day have been stuck outside the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach just waiting to deliver their goods. The backlog is part of a global supply-chain mess spurred by the pandemic that means consumers could see delivery delays for weeks. Photo Composite: Adam Falk/The Wall Street Journal

Before the pandemic, it was unusual for more than one ship to wait for a berth.

Big vessels are continuing to join the bottleneck, experts say, because shipping lines and their cargo customers have few options for resetting countless supply chains moving goods into the U.S. that have been constructed over decades around the critical San Pedro Bay gateway now staggered by the overflowing demand for imports.

Although some ships have headed to other import gateways, and a handful of shippers have chartered smaller vessels to move goods through other ports, the diversion is minor compared with the hundreds of thousands of containers idled in the waters off Southern California.

“Everything is aligned to L.A.,” said Nathan Strang, senior trade lane manager for ocean operations at Flexport Inc., a San Francisco-based freight forwarder.

The congestion this year has been caused by a surge in imports as consumer demand in the U.S. has shifted away from services to goods and home improvements and retailers have rushed to restock inventories that were depleted last year in the early months of the pandemic.

The neighboring California ports are the principal seaborne gateway to the U.S. thanks to the growth of containerization over the past 60 years and an explosion in goods trade, particularly U.S. trade with China. Last year, the two ports handled the equivalent of 8.8 million loaded import containers, more than double the 3.9 million loaded boxes that arrived at the nation’s next busiest port at New York and New Jersey.

The California ports are in easy range of China and the factories that churn out big volumes of electronics, apparel and an array of other consumer goods. They have enough land to house dozens of cranes capable of emptying large ships as well as sprawling terminals to store boxes.

Container ships outside the Port of Oakland. Smaller ports like Oakland and Seattle can handle just a fraction of the containers processed at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For the retailers that are among the major importers at Los Angeles and Long Beach, the ports offer quick reach to one of the largest population centers in the country. That means they can split arriving goods between a large local consumer base and rail links that offer steady, direct transport to the rest of the U.S. through inland hubs, with most of the boxes heading through Chicago.

Despite some shortages, the availability of trucking equipment, warehouse space and labor is also far greater than at other ports.

Shipping executives say other West Coast ports, like Oakland or Seattle, simply aren’t large enough to handle the hundreds of thousands of containers that Los Angeles and Long Beach unload, store and move by truck or rail each week.

“It would just take a very small portion of  L.A./Long Beach to overwhelm those ports,” said Craig Grossgart, senior vice president of global ocean for Seko Logistics, an Itasca, Ill.-based freight forwarder.

Above text excerpted from WSJ article.

Best SoCal Industrial MLS

The AIR CRE is the premier multiple listing service for industrial real estate such as warehouses and manufacturing buildings in Southern California. Whether you are a buyer or tenant or landlord or seller, this MLS is the service that all the top-tier brokers primarily use. It services industrial, office, retail, and other commercial real estate listings.

There are over 33,000 listings in the system for SoCal. And there are over 1,600 members in SoCal. So if you seek to search or list for sale or lease a warehouse or other commercial property in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside or Ventura counties, contact us as we are members of this MLS.

LoopNet, which is owned by Costar, is a second-tier MLS that we also use but it’s data pales in comparison to the AIR CRE and top firms mainly use it as a secondary marketing tool but don’t always put their listings there. The most active and major Los Angeles commercial real estate brokers use the AIR CRE, which is member owned and created in 1960.

AIR CRE

DTLA DRAFT MAP OF LAND USE AND ZONING

The above map is a draft version of the Downtown Los Angeles Map of Land Use and Zoning. On the left is the Financial Distict and South Park while on the right is the Warehouse District and Arts District.

The City Planning Commission is updating the Downtown Plan for future growth and changes in land use. The new plan will set a new direction for the future of DTLA to guide the physical development of neighborhoods, and establish goals and policies for land use in addition to a range of planning topics, including streets and open space, urban design, mobility, and arts and culture.

Heavy Industrial zoning would be removed. A new Hybrid Industrial Zone would dominate in the Arts District.

In the upper right section the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan area encompasses a large area sometimes known as the North Industrial District. Older generations may refer to it as part of Chinatown or Dogtown.

In a June 14, 2021 letter by the Chinatown Stakeholders to the Planning Commission, CASP was addressed per the below excerpt which is somewhat critical.

In the Cornfield – Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (“CASP”) adopted in 2013, City Planning attempted to promote infill development in the CASP area but also sought to limit the percentage of residential space in the floor area of new projects. This had the unintended effect of discouraging new development even at a time when other parts of the Central City were experiencing a development boom. The only project within the CASP area that has been approved since adoption of CASP (1457 N. Main St., with 244 live/work units) moved forward only as a result of the Central Area Planning Commission granting (in May 2020) an exception from CASP’s limitation of residential uses not exceeding 15 percent of the floor area. The City Council subsequently approved Councilmember Cedillo’s motion (Council File No. 13-0078-S2) directing City Planning to review the land use incentives in CASP to determine whether they had the net effect of discouraging the production of mixed-income housing.

In addition to the above commentary, the Shimoda Design Group submitted its criticism of the draft plan as per below excerpt:

The draft plan website states “Several years ago, City Planning set out to create a modern and efficient zoning system for Los Angeles. The proposed approach aims to establish a new Zoning Code that is more responsive to the needs of Los Angeles’s neighborhoods, in addition to being easier to use.”

These are noble goals, but the current draft of the code does not show itself to be more responsive to local needs, nor is it easier to use. We believe that the zoning sections regarding Form, Frontage, Standards & Use and Density are too prescriptive and need to be revised to allow for creativity and diversity in aesthetics and construction. As it stands this document is too granular and contains many contradictions in its prescription. The density and the complexity of the current version will create an administrative nightmare for the city in its implementation and interpretation. Many of the prescriptions for dimensional minimums and maximums are not reflective of real market conditions and place unnecessary limitations on creativity. The code will inadvertently create requirements that will effectively neuter Los Angeles as a competitive and desirable place to invest in. The result will negatively impact the future of Los Angeles.

We strongly believe that the current draft needs further revisions and input from the professional design and development community prior to adoption. The draft analysis of the Downtown, Arts District, Little Tokyo, and Chinatown districts in particular need to be reconsidered and not be defined by transitory cultural associations, a form-based code or by prescribed use requirements that will not evolve over time to reflect the community that it serves. We strongly believe and support the up zoning of all of these areas to increase density and affordability.

Contractor Yard For Lease

Hard to find large fenced yard with warehouse and office buildings. Listing for lease for 3-5 years. San Gabriel location north of City of Industry between Downtown Los Angeles and Inland Empire. San Fernando Valley to west. Los Angeles County.

  • Fenced Yard w/ 2 Street Entrances
  • 7,000 SF 18′ High Metal Warehouse w/ Crane
  • 3,200 SF Warehouse & Offices
  • 77,683 square feet of industrial land.
  • Minutes from 210 & 605 Freeways
  • Equipment Rental/Sales, Contractor Yard
  • Trucking, Trailer Storage
  • Former tenant installed a clarifier for equipment washing.
  • Vehicle Sales/Repair, Fitness/Recreation, Restaurant/Bar. Some uses may require tenant to obtain a minor use permit from city.
  • Contact us for information.

Freezer – Cooler Warehouse For Lease in Los Angeles.

Dock High Truck Loading

An approximately 20,000 square foot concrete warehouse with 5,200 square feet of freezer /cooer boxes is expected to come available as a listing for lease in several months. It is an industrial warehouse with cold storage and dry storage that can accommodate 10 dock high refrigerated truck trailers – this is an unusually high number of loading positions for a building of this size. Some freezer could possibly be converted to coolers.

There is plenty of yard and parking space given the large 43,000 square foot land parcel. Offices with restrooms included. Located the City of Commerce near the 5 Freeway about 10 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) and the City of Vernon.

Ideal for refrigerated food storage and distribution. Perishable foods such as prepared meals, poultry, seafood, beef, frozen foods, produce (fruit and vegetables).

Register preliminary interest by using the contact page.

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