the nearby port of Los Angeles, Long Beach has struggled with the surge of
imports, which exceeded predictions. The situation was exacerbated by shortages
of chassis and export containers, as well as restrictions imposed by the
Executive director Mario Cordero
emphasising the importance of continuing infrastructure upgrades
though, Long Beach has been doing fairly well, executive director Mario Cordero
told The Loadstar, emphasising the importance of continuing infrastructure
The opening of a new bridge in early
major milestone was the opening of a new bridge in early October, a six-lane
structure nearly two miles long that cost $1.47bn. It replaced a 52-year-old-structure
that was too narrow and too low to accommodate today’s trucking demands and the
larger cargo vessels. Mr Cordero referred to it as a “bridge to everywhere”,
noting that 15% of the nation’s loaded imports pass over it.
An on-dock rail support facility
in the pipeline is an on-dock rail support facility, a $870m project to expand
and enhance a rail facility. Rail is a key focus of the port’s capital
projects, accounting for a large chunk of the $1.7bn investment funds as the
port authority aims to raise the share of cargo that passes through by rail
from 28% to 35%.
Digitisation is another strategic plank
for the port
is another strategic plank for the port. Mr Cordero said the industry had made
significant progress on that front over the past five years and the use of APIs
to book gate appointments and similar elements had proliferated.
sees a role for the port “to move towards a platform where we integrate the
various technologies so that we further visibility”.
The port needs an “Amazon state of mind”
Cordero says the port needs an “Amazon state of mind”, which, he says,
translates into efficiency, predictability and reliability to be able “to move
containers out of the port complex faster to get to markets as soon as
has been one driver of the recent surge in imports through Long Beach and Los
Angeles, as merchants wanted the fastest ocean transit times across the
Pacific. This has slowed the migration of flows from Asia to ports on the US east
and Gulf coasts.
Beach has two significant advantages: its location and a rail infrastructure
that is “second to no other gateway”, which results in faster transit times
from Asia to US markets.
US ports needed more funding for
Cordero, currently chairman of the Association of American Port Authorities,
stressed that US ports needed more funding for infrastructure work. Political
discussion has hitherto focused on support for the airline industry and bridges
and other road infrastructure, he said.