Although the Port of Los Angeles just set its all-time cargo record, it still faces challenges and needs to improve its efforts to remain competitive, according to a report released by city leaders Thursday.
The Industrial, Economic and Administrative Survey of the Los Angeles Harbor Department — required by the city’s charter to be produced every five years — is a review of both business and management issues at the Port of L.A., while also offering recommendations to improve the way the port functions.
The IEA survey was administered by representatives of City Controller Ron Galperin and Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso, representing the City Council.
“The city’s Harbor Department and its management are doing many things right, but to remain a leader, the Port of L.A. needs to diversify with new development and leasing opportunities, while continuing to update vital technological functions,” Galperin said. “We can’t grow the port’s economic footprint without first modernizing the way we do business there.”
The report recommends the port deepen a collaboration with the Port of Long Beach; explore opportunities to increase business development and modify cargo terminal pricing; identify future real estate development opportunities, modify leasing prices and provisions, and do a better job marketing major waterfront events; work with port tenants to assess and strengthen cyber security; and develop a standard approach to technology by creating uniform data and systems requirements.
“Every time the Port of Los Angeles sets and surpasses new records for container volume, we all benefit — with more jobs for our workers, more growth for our businesses, and more prosperity for families in L.A., throughout Southern California, and across America,” Garcetti said. “Today’s report underlines what we already know: if we want keep seeing ships dock at our port, unload on our waterfront, and fuel our economy long into the future, we have to invest in efficient operations, cyber security, clean technology, and the world’s best labor force right now.”
The Port of Los Angeles moved more cargo in 2018 than any time in its 111-year history while marking the third consecutive year of record volumes, the port announced earlier this month.
“I thank Controller Galperin for taking the lead on this detailed report and acknowledging the many strengths and accomplishments that have occurred at the port in recent years,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “We appreciate the feedback on areas where we can focus and improve operations. Based on the priorities outlined, we will be evaluating our business practices, as well as examining opportunities and the recommendations put forth in the study.”
The full IEA Survey report can be found at www.lacontroller.org/portieareport.