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Ports & Terminals

LA’s Seroka projects 10M annual TEUs for fiscal year 2021

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka is projecting the Port will handle over 10 million annual TEUs by the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2021 making it “the first port in North America to do so.”

Seroka reported on the Port’s March 2021 performance during a Zoom press conference. He compared March 2021 cargo performance with March 2020, but cautioned that the big 2021 increases are distorted by the low volumes posted in March 2020 caused by pandemic related shutdowns in Asia:

  • Imports 490,115 TEUs up 122%
  • Exports 122,899 TEUs up 1.5%
  • Empties 344,585 TEUs up 218%

Seroka reported that there was an average of 20 ships currently at anchor waiting to unload, which is half the number of ships at anchor for February. The average wait time for a vessel at anchor before unloading at the Port is 7.9 days.

Dwell time at Port terminals has gone down to 3.8 days versus 5 days in February.

Seroka expects “no impact” to the Port because of the temporary shutdown of the Suez Canal.

Seroka is hopeful that infrastructure investments from the American Jobs Plan, proposed by President Biden, will facilitate improvements at the Port in three areas.
In addition, there is $9 billion dollars in the Harbor Maintenance Fund. These funds should be made available to the ports that have contributed the most to the fund such as the Port of Los Angeles. In addition, there are funds available from the Water Resources Development Act that should be made available to the Port.

  • Provide funding for zero emission Class 8 harbor trucks. The projected cost of switching to zero emission trucks at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by 2035 is $10 billion. There is $174 billion dollars available in the President’s infrastructure plan for zero emissions projects.
  • Port digitization. There is a need for a national digitization system for all ports that will facilitate cargo moves. Funding is available in the President’s infrastructure plan for digitization.
  • Grid resiliency. As a result of the California fires in 2020, California ports were required to reduce electrical loads, to reduce the pressure on the California grid system. Power plants were cutting back to avoid power lines causing fires. $50 billion is available for grid resiliency in the American Jobs Plan. This could support new investment at the Port for projects such as microgrids that will maintain the loading and unloading of cargoes during a power outage.
Stas Margaronis
Stas Margaronis

WEST COAST CORRESPONDENT

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