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‘Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise’ — Port of LA open

Executive Director Gene Seroka said the coronavirus has not impacted landside operations

The Port of Los Angeles reported it was operating normally Wednesday. (Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Nine vessels were being worked at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday when Executive Director Gene Seroka provided a video update on the coronavirus response.

“First and foremost, the Port of Los Angeles is open for business and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” Seroka said with a big smile.

Seroka said the port is in constant communication with its stakeholders, including marine terminal operators, labor leaders, railroads and harbor truckers, to ensure they have the rules in place to limit or close operations as necessary in order to control the spread of COVID-19. 

“Our highest priority is maintaining a safe and healthy working environment throughout the port complex while continuing our role of keeping consumer goods, critical materials and supplies flowing into all of the nation’s 435 congressional districts served by the Port of Los Angeles,” he said.

Seroka said the port complex has had no landside impacts to operations from the coronavirus.

“All marine terminal operations at the port are open, and our facilities are processing cargo through a combination of vessel exchange, staging of containers inside of terminals, on-dock rail operations and truck gate activity,” he said, adding that seven cargo ships, a liquid bulk vessel and a bulk cargo vessel were being worked at the port Wednesday.   

“Overall volume remains at 85% of normal traffic as China, our largest source of cargo, continues to bring manufacturing up to normal levels as their COVID-19 containment measures are gradually lifted,” Seroka said. “Due to the anticipated 15% drop in cargo volume during the first quarter of 2020, jobs across our supply chain are being affected. However, as China manufacturing is restored over the next 30 to 60 days, we expect cargo volume here to grow, creating demand for more workers from the docks to the regional distribution centers and beyond. In fact, in recent days we have seen a 20% increase in union labor shifts compared to the prior week.”

Seroka earlier said 40 vessel sailings from Asia to the Port of LA scheduled between Feb. 11 and April 1 were canceled

In Wednesday’s video message, he also addressed concerns over the potential for virus spread from foreign crews on ships calling the Port of LA and said long-standing rules require ships to report any illnesses on board four days in advance of arrival.

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One Comment

  1. Noble1

    Be “extremely” vigilant !

    What did I say about the coronavirus on surfaces ? That was one of my primary questions ! I asked if they can guarantee that an item would not be contaminated due to the coronavirus .

    What did they say ? They said that the coronavirus could not survive on a surface ! I begged to differ .

    Now what are they saying ? They stared to change their tune to it could on certain surfaces for up to a specified amount of time , like 3 hours on dry surfaces and up to 6 days on humid surfaces .

    Now they’re changing their tune once again ! Now it’s up to 72 hours on dry surfaces .

    Yeah well whatever ! I’ll keep trusting my intuition if you don’t mind , so far it hasn’t let me down .

    When making purchases I realized that certain employees in certain grocery stores and convenience stores are wearing gloves to “protect” themselves . However, here is an important issue I noticed .

    Customer A makes a purchase and pays in cash . Then the cashier deposits the customer’s cash in the register and removes the change in cash from the register and hands it over to the customer . This is negligence number 1 . Number 2 . Another client makes a purchase and also pays in cash . The cashier goes in the cash register ,deposits the clients cash and gives the customer their change in cash without having changed their gloves between clients , big negligent mistake number 2 .

    So now that it’s not just based on my opinion and the “experts” agree that the coronavirus SURVIVES on surfaces for extended periods of time , contamination can easily be spread from consumer to consumer and businesses by exchanging cash among each other .

    Eample number 2 , Same with the stock person stocking shelves with consumables . While you panic and purchase consumables , those consumable package surfaces may be contaminated with the coronavirus . These businesses are not “sanitizing” product packaging etc . So be vigilant !

    That’s just two tiny points I wanted to make at the moment . Be smart , observe , and use good judgement . One simple : ” oh I didn’t think about that ” , can be the difference between becoming infected or not .

    In my humble opinion ………..

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Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.