Port of LA, Long Beach Cooperation Cleared

The Federal Maritime Commission has approved an amendment to the Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Infrastructure and Environmental Programs Cooperative Working Agreement, allowing the two West Coast ports to jointly handle congestion issues, starting February 27, 2015.

Operating since March 2013, the agreement allows, among other things, the ports to discuss and agree on projects and programs that address transportation infrastructure needs and reduce pollution caused by port-related activities.

Addressing port congestion will be a particular focus, including establishing initiatives to increase terminal productivity, facilitate chassis availability and usage, and improve drayage truck turn times.

The Commission’s decision is based on a determination that the agreement is not likely at this time, by a reduction in competition, to produce an unreasonable increase in transportation cost or an unreasonable reduction in transportation service under section 6(g) of the Shipping Act.

“Cooperative agreements among ports who serve a common region are now paramount in order to improve port-related transportation infrastructure and facilitating cargo movement, “ FMC Chairman Mario Cordero said.

Both the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles recorded a double-digit decrease in January container volumes compared to the same month the year before, which the ports chalked up to terminal congestion caused by protracted longshoremen contract negotiations.