Fifty national and local trade associations have taken pen and paper and written to the Governor of the State of California, Gavin Newsom, asking for urgent countermeasures to be taken to curb and possibly reverse the downward trend that appears to have hit California ports for over a decade.
Stakeholders mention, as an example, a report prepared by the Pacific Merchant Association (PMSA),which certifies that since 2006 west coast ports have been steadily losing market shares to US ports of call on the east coast. In 14 years 19.6% of the market share has been lost, 5.6 million containers less have transited from ports such as Los Angeles, Oakland, Long Beach, etc.
In particular, the group calls for a review of state and regional regulations that are creating strong disincentives to using Californian ports and for a reconciliation of state regulations that encourage continuous environmental and efficiency improvements with the need to adapt port workers to a changing working environment.
“We have asked the Governor to consider the strategic role that ports of call have in the local economy: the decline in market shares must be reversed in order to prevent jobs and revenues from being put at risk,” reads the letter sent on July 13th.
For the associations, the fact that progressive market shares are being lost means only one thing: “that infrastructure investments are being made in other states, not in California. The result is more jobs and more revenue elsewhere, fewer jobs and less revenue here”.
Translation by Giles Foster