U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Jan. 11 toured the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, meeting with local officials while seeing firsthand efforts to deliver goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tour came as America’s maritime ports are set to receive an infusion of infrastructure funding, with $17 billion allocated for ports and waterways in the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Thanks to the heroic efforts of supply chain workers and the creativity coming out of our partnerships, we’re making good progress, as shown by the numbers on cargo movement, goods on shelves, and deliveries on time,” Buttigieg said. “Still, there is more to do, and we’re proud to award the Port of Long Beach a $52 million grant for the Pier B On-Dock Rail Facility, so this port can move more goods, more quickly.”
“Trade is a critical part of our economy and the workforce we have is second to none,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia remarked. “The Biden Administration saw our supply chain challenges early, partnered with local jurisdictions like the Port of Long Beach and we are seeing results.”
Tuesday’s visit included a boat tour followed by a press conference on the helipad at Long Beach’s Joint Command and Control Center, offering a sweeping view of the complex and the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, which opened to traffic in October 2020.
“We are investing in a 24/7 framework to further throughput and efficiencies…to serve the nation’s needs for the next 100 years,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg are fully engaged in our efforts to create a new normal of 24-hour operations to ensure we can clear the supply chain backlog and handle the flow of cargo into the future.”
“The reach of our federal partners eases cooperation across the supply chain by bringing together labor and the many companies that work in international trade,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal added. “We’re excited about what we can accomplish together.”