LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Hoping to alleviate the backlog of goods at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex by increasing the number of truck drivers on the road, the state Department of Motor Vehicles announced Wednesday it will boost its capacity to administer commercial driving tests.
The DMV will begin offering Saturday commercial driving test appointments at three more offices — in Fullerton, Montebello and Winnetka. The move will bring the overall number of Saturday test sites to 15, according to the DMV.READ MORE: Firefighters Rescue Infant, Two Adults From Fire At Two-Story Home
The agency is also training more staff to administer the test and redeploying examiners to areas with the greatest demand.
“There is a real need to increase the number of safe truck drivers in California to transport goods,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said in a statement. “Our goal is to give everyone who needs to take a test for a commercial driver’s license the opportunity to be tested within 30 days if they meet the requirements. Depending on the location, prospective commercial drivers can get an appointment for a test within a week.”
According to the DMV, the agency administers about 5,000 commercial driving tests each month statewide. With the new Saturday offices and redeployment of resources, the agency hopes to add another 4,700 appointments each month.
DMV officials noted that the highest demand for the tests is in the Los Angeles area.READ MORE: Three Shot, Two Killed In Unincorporated Area Near South Los Angeles
Managers of the ports of LA and Long Beach said cargo is moving off the docks more quickly than it has in many months.
Since Oct. 24, the port of LA said the number of containers here for more than six days has dropped 24%. At the port of Long Beach, it’s down 14%.
But some industry experts say it won’t last because there’s no place for the containers to go and no way to move them due to thousands of trailers that are stuck under empty containers in warehouses and at shipping yards around the state.
“So there’s a big dilemma here,” said Steve Wen, CEO of Dray Alliance. “What do you prioritize? Do you prioritize returning empty containers or prioritize unloading? It’s very difficult to make that choice because if you don’t unload the line gets longer.”MORE NEWS: Person Fatally Injured In Single-Vehicle Crash On Big Tujunga Canyon Road
Many in the industry say the real break in the logjam will come if, among other things, LA allows containers to be stacked on land without their trailers.