The record-breaking amount of cargo that freighters, trains and trucks — and dockworkers — have moved from overseas to all over America since the coronavirus pandemic began, the need for those involved in international trade to adapt to climate change, and the proposed $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill headlined the talking points at the first day of the Intermodal EXPO in Long Beach Monday morning, Sept. 13.

Transportation leaders, advocates and elected officials gathered at Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center with dozens of others for the three-day expo’s opening ceremony, where they discussed the importance of the industry to the national economy.

Long Beach is home to the second busiest port in the United States, behind only the Port of Los Angeles. Combined, the San Pedro Bay Port Complex creates nearly 3 million jobs throughout the U.S., including more than 900,000 across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, according to the Port of Los Angeles. The twin ports also have 31% of the nation’s trade market share.

They generate $5 billion annually in U.S. Customs revenues, according to the Port of Long Beach.

And the intermodal industry is a major part of that — ensuring all the goods that come in from overseas make it to their intended destinations.

In the U.S., the intermodal industry includes five Class 1 railroads, 46 shipping lines, more than 7,000 trucking companies and more than 10,000 third-party logistics companies.

The annual expo brings together members from every corner of the freight supply chain for three days of exhibitions, open dialogues and engaging discussions about the industry.

Noel Hacegaba, the Long Beach port’s deputy executive director, opened the ceremony by discussing the industry’s historical year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Every segment of the intermodal supply chain stepped up, masked up and showed up to work to keep cargo in our economy moving,” Hacegaba said. “Few industries benefit the local, state and national economies as much as the combined freight transportation network.”

And that was evident in Long Beach, Hacegaba said, with the port repeatedly breaking monthly cargo records.

Dockworkers and terminals, for example, moved more than 800,000 twenty-foot equivalent units —  or TEUs, the industry’s standard cargo measurement — in August, an 11.3% increase from the same month a year ago. It was the port’s best August ever.

Long Beach will likely come up about 500,000 TEUs shy of 10 million for the fiscal year, which in this city ends this month. Earlier this year, the Port of Los Angeles, which will release its August data later this week, became the first port in the Western Hemisphere to move 10 million TEUs during a 12-month period.

Together, Hacegaba said, the twin ports will process 20 million containers this year — more than ever before.

“That’s a 17% increase,” he said, “shattering last year’s record.”

Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive director of the Port of Long Beach, speaks during the Intermodal EXPO’s opening ceremony. Leaders, advocates and elected officials in the transportation industry gathered at the convention center in Long Beach Monday, Sept. …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News


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