Port of Oakland requests state help on the supply chain crisis

Port of Oakland

Danny Wan, Executive Director of the Port of Oakland and President of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA), has called for increased collaboration and solutions from all levels of government as containerised cargo continues to back up at California ports.

The call comes as a report from Shipping Analyst Lars Jensen showed that 79 vessels were waiting in the waters outside of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on 5 November 2021.

“The current congestion that we see today is a result of decades of underinvestment in our ports and supply chain,” said Wan at the California Legislature’s Select Committee on Ports and Goods Movement. “Notably there is an 11-to-1 imbalance in federal transportation and waterside spending on other port complexes around the country compared to those made here in our state.”

Wan went on to suggest that more federal funding is needed in California as the ports along the West Coast were underfunded by comparison relative to their degree of national economic importance and jobs generations.  

As well as funding, the Executive Director for the Port of Oakland also asked for:

  • Training centres throughout the state to develop a stronger supply chain workforce.
  • Creation of a California freight policy that can authorise emergency action in times of cargo congestion.
  • Long-term state and federal infrastructure investment at ports.

“The CAPA represents 11 ports accounting for 40% of the nation’s imports and 30% of US exports. Assistance to the state’s ports is critical to supporting the US economy. The global congestion caused by our broken supply chain requires public policy changes that can be addressed by our state leaders.”

The Port of Oakland has previously called on shipping lines to reroute cargo to the port to help drive vessels away from the congestion issue on the West, Gulf and East Coast of the US. Announced in October 2021, the port reiterated that it is congestion-free and urged the restoration of shipping services that have bypassed the region since summer 2021.

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