California Port Leaders, Lawmakers Discuss Global Supply-Chain Crisis

California Association of Port Authorities President Danny Wan. Photo courtesy Port of Oakland.

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Danny Wan, president of the California Association of Port Authorities and executive director of the Port of Oakland, presented state lawmakers with a five-part plan to help ease congestion at West Coast ports.

The plan includes identifying and allowing staging areas away from terminals for empty containers to ease bottlenecks and creating a California Office of Freight with a coordinator that could partner with the industry stakeholders. The goal is to develop a state freight-and-goods movement policy and add oversight for the deployment of federal infrastructure investments.

“California lawmakers must take a holistic approach to addressing the global supply-chain crisis,” Wan told various state leaders at a virtual meeting with other California port directors as part of Ports Day 2022, the association’s annual day of advocacy. “We must increase investments in infrastructure, relieve dock congestion, support agriculture exports and continue to advocate for enhanced federal funding for our ports.”

California Lieutenant Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who was present with officials, including state Controller Betty T. Yee and acting state Transportation Agency Secretary Elissa Konove, pledged her support to continue partnering with ports on policies to ease supply chain congestion.

“California ports have already taken action to address the pressing challenges facing our supply chain,” she said, applauding Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to prioritize a proposed $2.3 billion for supply-chain investments in the state budget.

“These funds will help get goods moving by enhancing port infrastructure, zero-emission equipment, workforce training, programs and increasing capacity for commercial drivers licenses,” she said.