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No commodity shortages at Port of LA

“It’s important for us to keep the supply chain fluid” during the coronavirus pandemic, Executive Director Gene Seroka says

“We can keep the supply chain moving,” says Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka. (Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

While cargo volumes are down at the Port of Los Angeles, there is “no worry of shortages at this time,” Executive Director Gene Seroka said.

“The business of the port is operating at about 80% of normal volume today, the difference being the China manufacturing community is not up to full speed yet. But the port is open for business,” Seroka told KABC on Monday

“Jobs are down by about a third right now simply because the volume of cargo is down, but as that rebounds there will be modest upticks in the coming weeks and months,” he said.

Safety measures, including cleaning and employee distancing, are ongoing as the coronavirus continues to spread, Seroka said.

“The work of our longshore labor force is front of mind every day to make sure their drive to work, the dispatch hall and the job on the docks is being done safely,” he said.

In a video update the Port of LA posted Monday, Seroka noted that California Gov. Gavin Newsom had deemed the port operations essential.

“That also is the case for our supply chain partners across the spectrum of goods movement. It’s important for us to keep the supply chain fluid for essential commodities going to the American public as well as medical supplies going to our health care professionals,” he said.

Seroka said he was “heartened” by how well the public and private sectors are working together during the coronavirus crisis.

“We can keep the supply chain moving and continue to focus as we share information with each other and work together as a supply chain community,” he said.

Seroka has been providing regular video updates. Last week he said all of the port’s facilities were “processing cargo through a combination of vessel exchange, staging of containers inside of terminals, on-dock rail operations and truck gate activity.”

He has said he expects year-over-year cargo volume at the port to drop 15% in the first quarter as a result of the coronavirus.

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.