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LA booms despite trade war
(Posted on 21/01/20)
The Port of Los Angeles moved near-record cargo in 2019, just short of the second-best year in its 113-year history. The milestone was announced by Port Executive Director Gene Seroka at the annual State of the Port event hosted by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.
“In the face of lagging exports due to international trade tensions and tariff uncertainties, the Port of Los Angeles has maintained strong momentum and kept cargo flowing,” Seroka said. “This feat was only possible because of the extensive cooperation and continued efficiency improvements by our terminal operators, supply chain partners and longshore workforce.”
Handling diverse commodities, the Port of Los Angeles features both passenger and cargo terminals, including , breakbulk, dry and liquid bulk, cruise, container, automobile and warehouse facilities that manage billions of dollars’ worth of cargo each year.
Seroka outlined a number of Port initiatives that will take shape in 2020 and beyond.
“It’s time for the courage and long-range vision to imagine what this Port will look like in the years ahead and set a course in that direction,” Seroka said. “It’s going to take collaboration to keep cargo volumes strong and our Port community thriving in the midst of increasing competition, an uncertain trade environment and a world where technology is essential to success.”
Seroka announced the planned launch of the nation’s first Terminal Efficiency Incentive Programme. In conjunction with a new Port of Los Angeles truck reservation system also planned for this year, the efficiency initiative would tie improvements in truck turn times to a Port incentive reward programme.
In 2020 the Port will continue to explore locations for off-dock chassis yards. Yusen Terminals has developed a near dock chassis staging area, and the Port is currently in negotiations with Pacific Crane Maintenance Company to develop an off-dock chassis facility that complements APM Terminal’s Pier 400 operation. These efforts will help relieve terminal congestion and improve overall chassis use port-wide.
Seroka also announced the launch of the Port of Los Angeles Labour Collaborative, a new Port-driven workforce development initiative focused on identifying specific employment and training needs within the Port ecosystem. Separately, an initiative will kick off next week with distribution of a Port stakeholder survey to assess current and future training and technical needs.
Technology infrastructure also was a key theme of Seroka’s remarks as the Port works to accelerate digital transformation of the supply chain by creating a port community system to connect critical cargo data points. The Port continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s leading digital “Smart Ports” with its Port Optimizer online information portal continuing to gain ground. The system covers 95% of all the containerized cargo flowing through the Port. Nine of the 10 leading carriers are feeding data into the Port Optimizer, and Wabtec, the Port’s digital partner in development of the Port Optimizer is now exploring end-to-end supply chain data integration with leading blockchain providers.
Seroka reiterated 2020 as an important year for ongoing implementation of the Clean Air Action Plan, as well as the Port’s continued pursuit of zero-emission technology to further build on emission reductions achieved over the last decade.
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