Last week, Chairman Daniel B. Maffei, accompanied by the Director of Bureau of Trade Analysis, Kristen Monaco, visited Los Angeles and Long Beach to tour facilities and meet with supply chain participants.
As a part of his visit, he participated in the California Supply Chain Success Initiative Summit held at the Port of Long Beach. In his remarks to the group, he reiterated actions taken by the Federal Maritime Commission and the Biden-Harris Administration to relieve congestion at U.S. ports but emphasized that commercial solutions are needed. He strongly urged the group to work together to find solutions, rather than engaging in finger-pointing at other stakeholders in the supply chain.
Chairman Maffei witnessed first-hand the long lines of container ships waiting to berth at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach while touring the ports by boat.
Seeing the ports from this unique perspective and at this extraordinary time was meaningful for the Chairman. Equally valuable were the conversations with port executives and staff on the tours.
Chairman Maffei also visited Union Pacific’s Intermodal Container Transfer Facility in Carson, California. The Chairman has noted on numerous occasions that containers do not care whether they are on ships, trains, or trucks, and making sure they can move through the supply chain fluidly is the best way to eliminate the congestion at the Nation’s ports.
Valuable insights were gleaned from meetings with the Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association and Foreign Trade Association, the International Longshore & Warehouse Union, and Harbor Trucking Association. While the Chairman has met with representatives from these groups virtually over the past 18 months, it was rewarding to be able to meet in person (with social distancing measures in place).
He also had the opportunity to visit the headquarters of Cargomatic to discuss innovative technology solutions to difficulties in the industry.
The Chairman wishes to thank all the participants and those who facilitated the meetings and tours on this busy but brief trip to the West Coast.
Daniel B. Maffei is the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The thoughts and comments expressed here are his own and do not represent the position of the Commission.