Port directors from across California met virtually today with state policymakers for Ports Day 2022, the organization’s annual day of advocacy.  They were joined by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Controller Betty T. Yee, Acting California State Transportation Agency Secretary Elissa Konove, Senator Lena Gonzalez, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, and dozens of other state policymakers who committed to working with California Ports on addressing the global supply chain crisis.

In her remarks to CAPA members, Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis, who serves as California’s Representative for International Affairs and Trade, said the state would continue to work closely with California Ports on public policy solutions that will alleviate congestion and bottleneck across the supply chain, “California Ports have already taken action to address the pressing challenges facing our supply chain.  I applaud Governor Newsom for making this issue a priority in his proposed budget, which includes a proposed $2.3 billion for supply chain investments.  These funds will help get goods moving by enhancing port infrastructure, zero-emission equipment, workforce training, programs and increasing capacity for commercial drivers’ licenses.”

CAPA President and Executive Director of the Port of Oakland Danny Wan said, “California lawmakers must take a holistic approach to addressing the global supply chain crisis.  We must increase investments in infrastructure, relieve dock congestion, support agriculture exports, and continue to advocate for enhanced federal funding for our ports.”

Wan recommended that policymakers adopt the following public policy priorities to alleviate congestion:
From the Port of Humboldt Bay in the north to the Port of San Diego in the south, California has become a leading global trade center. California Ports are responsible for handling 38% of all containerized imports and 28% of all exports in the U.S, accounting for 35% of all containerized waterborne trade. Over 3.1 million jobs are supported by trade that moves through California ports, including over 800,000 jobs related to exports and nearly 2.3 million jobs related to imports.

• California Office of Freight: Establish the Office of Freight with a designated Supply Chain Coordinator to work with the goods movement industry to create and implement a state freight and goods movement policy and manage the roll out of Federal infrastructure investments. The Office of Freight will serve to coordinate policy and budgetary development to ensure economic competitiveness, strengthen resilience, and advance California’s environmental leadership as it relates to the freight sector.

• Greater Investments in Infrastructure: Increase investment in California’s freight and goods movement transportation infrastructure across the board. This includes investments for port-related projects that increase goods movement capacity on rail and roadways serving ports and at port terminals, including railyard expansions, new bridges, and zero-emission modernization projects.•

Support Agriculture Exports: Provide support to agricultural exporters to help them find equipment and transportation services in the face of higher demand and costs.

• Relieve Dock Congestion: Locate and permit off-terminal staging areas where empty containers can be removed from chassis and temporarily stored to relieve congestion and away from the dock to allow ships to be processed faster

• Enhanced Federal Funding for CA Ports: Advocate for the West Coast’s fair share of federal transportation and freight infrastructure dollars – which have historically been focused away from its largest port complexes in California.

California ports have seen a dramatic increase in trade moved through and from all regions of the country. Trade volume grew from $245 billion in 2000 to $416 billion in 2020.  The trade moving through California ports is a critical source of tax revenue throughout the United States. In 2020 alone, this trade generated an estimated $38.1 billion, with impacts spread across the United States.