A scarcity of workers at warehouses and transloading operations, coupled with a surge in imports tied to e-commerce, is causing containers to pile up near some US ports and putting pressure on marine terminals due to unreturned chassis. 

The worker scarcity is most sharply felt by facilities that deconsolidate ocean containers before smaller shipments are trucked out. Such operations are more labor-intensive and are experiencing sharper volume surges than traditional warehouses due to serving the e-commerce sector.

Longer chassis dwell times at warehouses and delays at marine terminals in Southern California are slowing the return of equipment, as truckers are struggling to secure appointment slots to return empty containers to marine terminals. 

The Harbor Trucking Association stated that it is becoming increasingly difficult in Southern California to secure domestic containers and trailers, which is reducing the equipment necessary to handle outbound domestic and intermodal moves from the transloading warehouses in the region.