Technology Key to Vision at Long Beach, Los Angeles Ports

Image via JOC Events.

Leaders at the nation’s busiest seaport complex said Tuesday, March 1 that leaning into digital transformation and preparing for volume growth in the coming years will be a major part of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach’s vision for the future.

At the Journal of Commerce’s “TPM22” event, which was held Feb. 22 through March 2 in Long Beach, Calif., Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero and Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka spoke about working together to ease present congestion at their docks and how handling that congestion will shape their future vision.

Both leaders said that the congestion situation at both ports is improving, with nearly 70% reduction of delayed cargo on the docks, fewer ships at anchor and plans to address empty containers.

Much of that improvement came from using data tools to allow for more supply chain visibility and finding ways to handle the overflow, whether it’s finding temporary storage for containers, moving toward 24/7 operations or announcing a container dwell fee that would charge ocean carriers for every import that lingered at terminals longer than nine days.

During the pandemic, the Port of Los Angeles rolled out four new modules designed and developed with industry for the nation’s first and still only port community system, Seroka said.

“We wouldn’t be able to have the speed and resilience without this system,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Long Beach is partnering with the Port of Oakland and the Northwest Seaport Alliance on Long Beach’s “Supply Chain Information Highway,” a free data delivery service that gives shippers and others to help track cargo and use resources more effectively. Oakland and NWSA’s participation will help expand the highway’s reach.

Future volumes necessitate action, as both ports are expected to handle 28.3 million TEUs by 2030 and 40 million TEUs by 2040, Cordero said, adding that both ports will continue to work together on addressing operational issues.

By Karen Robes Meeks