As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to unfold, the three of the largest ports in the nation – Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland – continue to operate, allowing for the continued flow of goods into our communities and key industries.
As the world weathers this crisis, these ports provide a service that has been identified by the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the state of California as an essential critical infrastructure industry.
To meet the current challenges, we have instituted new procedures for the operation of our terminals designed to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Safe operations support the flow of needed goods in and out of California allowing our communities to continue to function while we collectively heed calls to shelter-in-place.
Modifications of gate operating hours allow for thorough equipment cleaning protocols and procedures with no disruption to port operations. Ports, marine terminals, and shipping lines understand our critical role and are determined to fulfill our obligation as an essential industry and patriotic citizens. Maintaining the fluidity of cargo operations and preventing cargo from becoming stranded on the waterfront in the coming weeks will ensure that our ports continue to fulfil their critical role over the course of this crisis.
While regulatory and cost pressures have created competitive challenges for California ports, the COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the importance of the logistics industry to California residents. In the months ahead, the delivery of goods to a recovering economy will enforce the importance of ports, marine terminals, and the logistics workforce.
The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) is proud to represent the marine terminals and vessels that continue to supply the goods we all depend on and will be working diligently to support the anticipated increased volume of imports and exports in the very near future.