As you may know, there has been some congestion recently at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. I wrote this op-ed, which appeared in today's Press Telegram, about our efforts to combat the congestion, and I wanted to share it with you.
I will continue to all I can to ensure the efficient movement of good through the Port.
Mayor Robert Garcia
Long Beach Taking Steps to Ease Port Congestion: Robert Garcia
November 24, 2014
As congestion from larger ships and more cargo volume increases at the Port of Long Beach during the peak holiday season, our port team continues to work overtime to find solutions and move cargo through our port as quickly as possible.
The congestion at our port complex must be addressed and demands new solutions. We must also ensure that it never happens again.
I have been in close contact with the executive team of our Harbor Department, our terminal operators, labor leadership, and our port shipping partners to ensure that we are all working together to keep cargo and goods moving.
In the last few weeks I’ve met with many of our shipping partners and terminal operators to brief them on the challenges we face and our plan to address the larger cargo loads in the future. They know that we are focused on solving the congestion issue.
In addition, we are in the middle of contract negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, and are monitoring labor disputes between local truck drivers and trucking companies. Labor peace at our ports is incredibly important and I am hopeful that all sides can come to the table and work together so that we can all focus on our most important goal: moving America’s cargo.
The Port of Long Beach continues to push innovative solutions to address congestion, including increasing the available supply of chassis that carry the shipping containers on trucks. The port is developing a plan to operate its own chassis fleet for peak cargo shipping seasons. Moving forward we will ensure that we have enough chassis for peak seasons.
And recently, the Harbor Commission took action to free up space on the crowded docks by creating a temporary depot to store empty containers and chassis. This new storage depot will allow truckers to use a chassis that otherwise would have been occupied with an empty container.
These solutions are not enough to end congestion entirely, but they do begin to move cargo more quickly through the Port.
The Port of Long Beach is the primary economic engine for our city, with one in every eight jobs relying in one way or another on trade through our port.
Our Harbor Department leadership continues to work with stakeholders to gather data and facilitate long-term solutions that will help streamline the process of speeding cargo flow throughout the supply chain.
We must and will do better. I will continue working hand-in-hand with our Harbor Commission and department staff to meet the needs of all stakeholders — from ocean carriers to truckers, dock workers, shipping lines and cargo owners. We are exploring long-term solutions, and doing all we can to make the Port of Long Beach more efficient and productive than ever before.