THE ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have pledged to collaborate on several operational initiatives to preserve San Pedro Bay's competitive edge, according to a new memorandum of understanding, reports the Los Angeles Business Journal.
"Our two ports are the fastest way to move goods between Asia and US markets and manufacturers," said port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero. "The kind of cooperation that will flow from this agreement ensures we will continue to be the most efficient gateway for shippers."
The ports handle 37 per cent of all waterborne goods entering the United States, representing US$312 billion in trade value. And while cargo volumes have been rising and 2018 was a record-setting year, the ports' market share is shrinking.
"When I first started working here at the port in 2002, (the market share) was 42 per cent," port of Los Angeles deputy executive director Michael DiBernardo said during the harbour commission's hearing on February 20. "So, you can see that it has shifted, that cargo is going to other gateways."
Mr DiBernardo referred to east coast ports which, anticipating the 2016 expansion of the Panama Canal, have improved their capacity and are picking up more cargo from Vietnam, India, Thailand and Indonesia as tariffs shift manufacturing away from China.
"Given our competitive situation that we're in right now ?we need to work together and collaborate to maximize service, maximize predictability of the cargo, cargo velocity and the whole scope of port operation," Mr Cordero said.