Port of LA’s COVID-19 woes set to continue

Huge container ship under the historic Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro (Port of Los Angeles)

The Port of Los Angeles is set to suffer another month of declining volume after its CEO Gene Seroka said in a video message that traffic data for April 2020 will be lower than April 2019, even if it shows an increase on March.

Seroka said that the Port, the busiest in the US, remains open and fully operational, with cargo moving smoothly through its terminals.

“With labor shifts down 17% from the average over the past 39 months, we recognize the hardship that many of you are feeling due to our troubled economy,” said Seroka.

“Together, we will get through this crisis. In the meantime, our executive team and staff are routinely talking with manufacturing, retail and agricultural interests—both importers and exporters—to stay updated on their recovery plans and ensure that our supply chain is positioned to help them in the coming months.”

The Port of Los Angeles is a vital hub for trade between the US and China, and as such saw drastic declines in its volumes at the start of 2020. This was on top of the losses it suffered as a consequence of the trade war between the two countries.

In his message, Seroka lauded the City of Los Angeles’ agreement with Honeywell to purchase 24 million N95 masks through Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA), noting the agreement creates U.S. manufacturing jobs and helps employers of high-risk, essential workers secure masks at a competitive market rate.

He also thanked Harbor Freight for donating gloves, spray bottles for disinfectant and 9,500 face shields to combat the spread of COVID-19.
To date, LoVLA has investigated more than 700 supplier leads. Seroka has concurrently served as executive director of the Port of Los Angeles and chief logistics officer for the City of Los Angeles since March.

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