In a press conference, today, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka gave a wide-ranging report addressing contamination threats to workers from the Coronavirus and working with maritime partners to keep the Port operational in response to supply chain disruptions in China and the United States.
In his remarks, Seroka reported:
“No illnesses” related to the Coronavirus thus far.
Noted a labor-management coastwise agreement between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) that outlines health and safety protocols to protect workers and keep U.S. Pacific ports operational.
Decontamination measures to protect workers.
Cooperation between terminals, longshore labor, truckers, warehouses, shipping lines and shippers to support health and safety measures, address supply chain disruptions and keep the Port operational.
Seroka also noted:
“Cargo is moving normally at the Port and “we have 12 ships in today (March 26th)” and “ample space for cargo.”
Chinese factories are operating at 50% of capacity so this is likely to impact import volumes.
The result of the “ill-advised trade dispute with China” and the effects of the pandemic are likely to result in a 15% to 18% decline in cargo volumes for the first quarter of 2020.
The decline in retail orders in the United States will soften market demand in 2020 and perhaps “beyond.”
Containers stranded at the Port that are not expeditiously delivered to end-users due to shut downs and other dislocations will be relocated to open spaces on Port property so “we can smooth out the flow” of cargo arriving at the Port and avoid congestion.
The Port has addressed contamination issues impacting longshore workers by obtaining bleach and spray bottles to keep machinery clean and protect workers.