Port executive director delivers state of Port of Los Angeles address

This article has been updated.

Executive Director Gene Seroka delivered  the 2019 “State of the Port of Los Angeles” address this afternoon, providing updates on 2018 and 2019 highlights at the nation’s largest port by container volume and cargo value. 

Seroka talked about the Port’s business, environmental progress and technology and community development initiatives, noting: “The state of the port is busier, cleaner and safer than ever.”

In the busy category: Seroka ticked off a list of by now familiar stats detailing record-breaking volumes last year: The Port moved 9.5 million container TEUs in 2018 and in October broke a monthly record with 952,000 units moved.

Vehicle shipments did decline by 34%  as a result of weak auto sales growth and liquid bulk volumes declined by 8.4%. 

The Port is seeing strong January volumes ahead of the Chinese New Year, Seroka said, but he expects that to taper off in February. 

Port environmental achievements include hosting 15 zero and near zero emission reduction demonstration projects. Along with six other ports, POLA this past fall created the World Port Climate Action Program aimed at reducing emissions in international shipping.

Seroka’s address was light on new announcements. One exception involved the Port Optimizer, the facility’s online cargo tracking system. The portal is live as of today, Seroka said.

The optimizer will help alleviate persistent problems at the Port, including chassis dislocation and prolonged truck queueing times. 

New physical infrastructure will also help alleviate bottlenecks. Seroka singled out a two-year improvement project at the Everport facility, which will enable calls from larger container vessels.  And design work will start this year on two rail enhancement projects providing more capacity for APT terminals’ Pier 400 on dock railyard. 

The State of the Address took place at the Port’s World Cruise Center and was co-hosted by the Pacific Merchants Shipping Association.

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Linda Baker, Staff Writer

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves staff reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes early-stage VC, freight-tech, mobility and West Coast emissions regulations.