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HTA’s LaBar stepping down as CEO of SoCal drayage trade group

Destination is not announced but it is within the industry he served

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves & Weston LaBar)

Weston LaBar, the CEO of the trade association that represents the drayage carriers in the ports of Southern California, is stepping down. 

LaBar will be leaving the Harbor Trucking Association to “pursue a new opportunity in the industry,” the HTA said in its announcement of his departure. The association did not disclose the identity of his new employer except to say that it was a member of the HTA.

LaBar has been the public face of the association for seven years. In particular, in recent months as the backlog at Southern California ports got worse, LaBar was vocal in his critique and recommendations on what steps the ports and the carriers should take to relieve the congestion.

“For the HTA, this provides an opportunity to identify a talented new CEO without losing the institutional knowledge of the previous leadership,” the HTA said in its statement.

In language unusual for such an announcement, the HTA quoted its president of the board of directors, Robert Loya, as saying that the organization expects the competition to fill the opening to be “fierce.” “We have posted the job and expect to select our new CEO within the next 30-60 days,” Loya said.

LaBar’s prominence in the public discussion — he rarely if ever failed to respond to a reporter’s request — was evident in the HTA’s description of his tenure. “Under LaBar’s leadership, the HTA established itself as a national voice on drayage and intermodal,” it said. “The association has experienced record growth and established innovative new programs, while being prominently inserted in local, state, and national discussions on improving the supply-chain.”

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.