U.S. Shipping-Container Crisis Caused by Environmental Laws That Create Truck Shortage

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There is a trucking crisis at California’s ports, thT of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB), that is causing the bottleneck in supply chains because all semi tractors have to be current with new California emissions standards, or they may not operated in the state. That means trucks cannot be older than 3 years if they are to pick up or deliver containers at those ports. This issue especially affects fleet trucks at the ports. In a court settlement, dated October 16, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced settlements with three interstate trucking companies for violating the California Air Resources Board’s federally enforceable emissions restrictions on diesel trucks to filter particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. Virtually all private owner-operator trucks and half of the fleet trucks that are used for moving containers across the nation have been shut out. Big businesses in the private sector, including Amazon, Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, Home Depot and Target, were aware of this problem years ago and quietly diverted shipments of their goods to other ports.

Hundreds of requests for details on the specifics of the container shipping backlog.  So, I spent 3 days calling sources, digging for details and gathering information on the substantive issue at hand.  The epicenter of the problem is not what is being outlined by financial media, corporate media and politicians who have a specific interest in distracting from the issues at hand.  This has nothing to do with COVID-19.

The issues being discussed today relate to events that happened a long time ago.  As a matter of fact, it was so predictable that Amazon, Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, The Home Depot and Target all had taken actions years ago -long before COVID- because they knew this day would come.  It was not accidental that those companies showed up at the White House to discuss the issue, because there’s now a full court press to hide it.

The trucking issue with California LA ports, ie the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB), is that all semi tractors have to be current with new California emissions standards.  As a consequence, that mean trucks cannot be older than 3 years if they are to pick up or deliver containers at those ports.  This issue wipes out approximately half of the fleet trucks used to move containers in/out of the port.  Operating the port 24/7 will not cure the issue, because all it does is pile up more containers that sit idle as they await a limited number of trucks to pick them up.  THIS is the central issue.

On October 16, 2020, the EPA reached a settlement agreement [DATA HERE] with California Air Resource Board (CARB) to shut down semi tractor rigs that were non-compliant with new California emission standards:

2020 SAN FRANCISCO – “Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with three interstate trucking companies imposing $417,000 in penalties for violating the California Air Resources Board’s federally enforceable Truck and Bus Regulation, Drayage Truck Regulation and Transport Refrigeration Unit Regulation.

“As trucks are one of the largest sources of air pollution in California, EPA will continue to ensure these heavy-duty vehicles have the needed pollution-control equipment and operate in compliance with the rules,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “These companies have agreed to bring their trucks into compliance and operate more cleanly in all communities they serve.”

Transportation is a primary contributor to the high levels of air pollutants in Southern California and the Central Valley. Diesel emissions from trucks are one of the state’s largest sources of fine particle pollution, or soot, which is linked to health issues including asthma, impaired lung development in children, and cardiovascular effects in adults. Many of these trucks are older models and emit high amounts of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

[…] California Truck and Bus Regulation and Drayage Truck Regulation have been essential parts of the state’s federally enforceable plan to attain cleaner air. California requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and PM performance standards and to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions standards or use diesel particulate filters to reduce the diesel particulates emissions into the atmosphere by 85% or more.  (read more)

In effect, what this 2020 determination and settlement created was an inability of half the nation’s truckers from picking up anything from the Port of LA or Port of Long Beach.  Virtually all private owner operator trucks and half of the fleet trucks that are used for moving containers across the nation were shut out.

Read full article here…

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Fastt Ed
Fastt Ed
1 month ago

Amazon and others should be an example to other corporations that CA does NOT WORK. It is a socialist state unto its own. The majority of voters, in the recall election, have proved themselves to be morons. They get the govt. they deserve.

E. Grogan
E. Grogan
1 month ago
Reply to  Fastt Ed

Having lived in Calif for 60 yrs until last June, I’m thinking the recall and the last 20 yrs of elections have all been rigged.

Boomer Lady
Boomer Lady
1 month ago
Reply to  E. Grogan

So you left California before the recall election. Seems that all these people leaving is probably why Newsom is still in office. We needed your votes. If such actions had happened in 1776, we’d still be part of England. It takes grit in great numbers to fight government.

E. Grogan
E. Grogan
1 month ago
Reply to  Boomer Lady

That election was stolen, just like every election in Calif for the last 20 yrs at least.
You know nothing about me but are judging me. Why? I left Calif because I knew I could fight more effectively in another state and now I’ve been putting my life on the line fighting. I am not well but I still spend every waking hour fighting. You have NO idea who I am or what I’m doing.

Ragnar D.
Ragnar D.
1 month ago

When you find yourself scratching your head and asking, “Gosh, why would the government of California do such a foolish thing not to allow perfectly capable trucks to transport items that its people need?” you will discover that it makes perfect sense if you understand that we are under attack by enemy forces that WANT to collapse the economy. Stop supporting and believing in this corrupt globalist system. Stop voting in their phony elections; we aren’t going to vote our way out of this mess.

Boomer Lady
Boomer Lady
1 month ago
Reply to  Ragnar D.

All the more reason to vote. Not voting is certainly going to collapse the economy faster. At least voting might win, as more and more people are getting angry. Giving up isn’t an option.

E. Grogan
E. Grogan
1 month ago
Reply to  Boomer Lady

Apparently you think all elections are honest and that Biden won the election last year fair and square. You really have no idea what is going on, do you?

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Boomer Lady

If voting changed anything it would be illegal. We’re told voting works and that’s how you change things. Unfortunately this isn’t true in general. We fight better by offering competing systems that are superior or at least on par with their controlling type systems. Unfortunately it requires more than 1d thinking to implement and the realization that the reality you think you know isn’t so. I’m afraid very few can do that.

Jay B
Jay B
1 month ago

California bureaucrats fail again: This latest boondoggle has dozens of huge container ships anchored off the coast of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, awaiting docking
See an example of what it looks like, and has for a year or more, here: https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/huntington-beach-pier-live:
Don’t these ships run on low cost, high polluting bunker fuel that will ride the ocean breeze onto shore?
Another botched job by the dolts in the Sacramento swamp: Not only negatively impacting the economy but the respiratory health of those living in So. Calif!

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Any excuse for collapsing the current economy. Interesting though as a few years ago I worked (peripherally) on a product that can be installed in any diesel engine that would “clean” the exhaust using high voltage without the need for chemicals that need replacement. Company is called “environmental energy technology” based in Henrietta, NY. I’m no longer working there but any fleets out there who want to jump through their hoops should give them a call.