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Off-dock box yard blocked by union-LA Port collusion, lawsuit claims

PRIVATE equity firm Saybrook Capital is suing the Port of Los Angeles, alleging that the harbour authority unlawfully colluded with the dockers union to block the creation of an off-terminal container storage yard

25 November 2019 - 19:00

PRIVATE equity firm Saybrook Capital is suing the Port of Los Angeles, alleging that the harbour authority unlawfully colluded with the dockers union to block the creation of an off-terminal container storage yard.

Specifically, the Los Angeles Superior Court motion seeks to have the port authority release 2,000 documents that allegedly show the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's sway over port decision-making and its role unduly influencing the port authority's ruling on the container storage project, known as the Harbour Performance Enhancement Centre (HPEC).



Saybrook is the primary backer of HPEC, which would have stored up to 4,200 wheeled containers and provided the port with 1.2 million TEU in off-terminal capacity, reported American Shipper.



Los Angeles-based Saybrook received a US$130 million funding commitment from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners based largely on the port's board providing exclusive negotiating rights in 2016 to Saybrook for developing the 142-acre site.



But Saybrook's lawsuit alleges that LA Port executive director Gene Seroka called off the project in 2018 after Saybrook and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 13 could not reach an agreement on who would be the drayage drivers for the site. Saybrook's lawsuit looks to overturn the port's decision about the project.


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