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Port of LA-LB work on digital enhancements to boost competitiveness

TRADITIONAL rivals, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have signed an agreement to collaborate on issues, ranging from cargo movement efficiency to workforce development and cybersecurity

15 March 2020 - 19:00

TRADITIONAL rivals, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have signed an agreement to collaborate on issues, ranging from cargo movement efficiency to workforce development and cybersecurity.

'Our two ports are the fastest way to move goods between Asia and US markets and manufacturers,' said port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero in a report by American Shipper. 'The kind of cooperation that will flow from this agreement ensures we will continue to be the most efficient gateway for shippers.'



Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka said in a joint port statement: 'America's two largest and most competitive ports have a long and successful history of collaborating on key issues. This agreement significantly expands these efforts and underscores our shared commitment to lead and succeed.'



The nation's largest seaport complex will work in concert with industry stakeholders to identify and address operational issues to unlock additional efficiencies and lower costs for shippers while improving sustainability, business continuity and security, according to the announcement.



The San Pedro Bay neighbours move 37 per cent of the nation's containerised imports and 25 per cent of its exports. But both ports say they continue to face competitive challenges for market share.



Cargo volumes at both ports currently are being affected by the coronavirus. Mr Seroka appeared on CNBC to discuss how the coronavirus has impacted the port of Los Angeles.



The MOU outlines five areas of focused cooperation to enhance competitiveness: cargo transfer predictability, digital connectivity, cybersecurity, establishment of metrics and workforce development.



The ports will begin by establishing a work plan that will prioritise efforts, create work groups and define objectives for each of the areas outlined in the MOU.



'We've built some real nice rail yards to load containers on and off trains, on and off the ships. The problem is the terminal operators operate in one set of rules and functions, and the railroads are just a completely different animal,' port of Long Beach acting managing director Don Snyder said last summer that the ports were working together to improve rail traffic flow.



'So what we're doing, the two ports, we have a billion-dollar project coming up setting up staging areas that the terminals can quickly turn railcars around and take them on and off containers and put them in the staging area so when the railroads are ready to grab them, they can move,' Mr Snyder added.


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