California Chapter Members Send Harbor Commissioner a Message: Ports Still Tangled

IMG_1012 copyDeny, deny, deny. That was the stance of David Arian, vice president of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners (and former long-time member of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union), during the 2015 Spring IWLA California Chapter Meeting last week in Rancho Dominguez, Calif.

Though port officials say publically that everything is fine, IWLA members don’t agree: Things are far from normal.  “There’s still a backlog that is holding up trucks,” says IWLA President & CEO Steve DeHaan. “Our guys are waiting in lines, and unable to make enough turns.”

The commissioner blames the delays on the lack of infrastructure at the port. He also claimed containers were being unloaded in 1.5 minutes, but IWLA members don’t see evidence of that speed.

“It’s taking them closer to 3 minutes,” DeHaan says. “Just because he’s denying, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”

Regardless, IWLA members are sending a clear message:  We are tired of dealing with port issues every 5 to 7 years. If goods can’t get to the consumer then we will move them through other more reliable ports.

During the meeting, IWLA members also discussed the California Air Resources Board’s Sustainable Freight Strategy, Declining Facility Emissions Caps, and Mobile Source Measure regulations. Sean Edgar, a consultant, spoke to the group about requirements and compliance issues.

“Our members are concerned with the brokered trucks on their lots. They want to understand how this will impact their emissions at any given time,” says DeHaan. “How can you be compliance when you don’t know what condition these trucks are going to be in when they arrive?”

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