Port of Los Angeles had busiest year ever as imports surge during COVID – NBC Los Angeles
Last year was the busiest year on record for the Port of Los Angeles, with 10.7 million 20-foot-equivalent units moved, executive director Gene Seroka said today during the state harbor annual.
“In 2021, we learned how much cargo we could transport through our port under extraordinary circumstances,” Seroka said in a pre-recorded speech Thursday. The port saw record imports due to growing consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 10.7 million containers handled in 2021 were about 13% higher than the previous record, set in 2018, Seroka said.
“But that’s not all, because in our fiscal year, which ended on June 30, we handled even more cargo, more than 10.8 million container units from July 2020 to June 2021, and another 5 million from July until the end of the year,” Seroka said.
The port has seen 18 consecutive months of record cargo volume, he added.
As imports increased, the port faced the challenge of ships waiting offshore to enter the port complex.
“This surge in imports has particularly underscored our need to be able to adapt and adapt the use of our properties. At times like this, that means having more transitional space to reduce terminal congestion,” said Seroka. .
To ease the backlog, the port on Oct. 25 announced a fee for companies whose import containers linger at marine terminals. »
Simply announcing the levy reduced the number of these unused containers by more than 60%. The results have been phenomenal and I’m happy to say that we didn’t put up the fees,” Seroka said.
The port is considering a similar fee for idling empty containers.
Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the port and its surrounding communities, noted the port’s impact on area residents, particularly in the Wilmington neighborhood. Buscaino called on the port and the city to “do everything possible to continue to mitigate their adverse effects on nearby communities.”
He pointed to the heavy pollution and truck traffic in Wilmington’s residential area and said “we must continue to develop solutions that improve the quality of life in the local community by creating jobs, aggressively improving the supply chain efficiency and ensuring port neighborhoods are protected from the physical damage and environmental impacts of the movement of goods.”
The port is testing 107 zero-emission units and 27 near-zero-emission units that will be used for cargo handling, drayage, port vessels and ocean-going vessel operations. The port said it plans to increase the fleet to more than 200 units over the next 18 months. In April, the port will implement the Clean Truck Fund Rate, which officials say will raise $130 million over the next three years to fund zero-emission trucks and fuel infrastructure development.
Governor Gavin Newsom spoke in a pre-recorded video shown at the event about the state’s investment in the Port of Los Angeles, which will be used for cargo system improvements and digital and cybersecurity infrastructure .
“Ports, you know, are not just imports, they’re also at the forefront and at the forefront of workforce development and environmental stewardship. And that’s why I’m really proud this year that we’re building on some of those pioneering work by investing an additional $2.3 billion in our ports and supply chain alone that get goods more efficiently to where they need to go’ ‘, Newsom said.
The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest port in North America in terms of cargo volume and cargo value.