Port of LA, Partners, Form Dairy Exports Working Group

CMA CGM container
CMA CGM container
A CMA CGM container at a Port of Los Angeles terminal. Photo courtesy POLA.

The Port of Los Angeles and container shipping company CMA CGM are teaming up with the International Dairy Foods Association to form a dairy exports working group to help find and deal with supply chain issues affecting U.S. dairy product exports, according to the port.

First announced at the Dairy Forum 2022 event, held Jan. 23-26 in Palm Desert, Calif., the new working group is expected to concentrate on West Coast seaports, where the export journey starts for many dairy goods, and explore ways to move those products more efficiently from the nation’s interior to the West Coast, the port said.

“U.S. dairy exports reached a near-record $6.4 billion in 2020 and continued to set a blazing pace in 2021 due to surging global demand, but the U.S. dairy industry could be exporting much more to destinations around the world if there was more reliability and predictability in the supply chain,” IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes said.

The group plans to look specifically at boosting the availability of rail to help exporters not near the coast, considering whether to enact an idea of a “fast lane” for ships willing to leave with a full load or fewer empty cargo containers and finding ways to curb ghost bookings, according to the announcement.

“American dairy exporters have been hard hit by supply chain challenges and trade policy that have made it difficult to get their goods to global markets,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I’m pleased to collaborate with our dairy industry partners and the CMA CGM Group to launch this working group and find solutions that will benefit not only the dairy industry but all American exporters.”

By Karen Robes Meeks