Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is leading a Port of Long Beach delegation on a weeklong business development trip this week to meet with executives at the European home offices of the world’s three largest shipping lines.
The group will update Port customers on the impact of the recent labor negotiations and steps being taken to improve congestion and make the Port more efficient.
"It's incredibly important that we let our customers know that despite the labor negotiation process and congestion, the Port of Long Beach is still the best place to do business on the West Coast," said Mayor Garcia.
The shipping lines that the delegation will visit are the three largest in the world. A.P. Moller-Maersk Group is No. 1 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mediterranean Shipping Company is second-largest and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The third-largest is CMA CGM, headquartered in Marseilles, France.
"Long Beach has so much to offer. Our goal is to reach out to these customers and industry leaders, to listen to their concerns and to share the news of our bright future," said Commission President Doug Drummond. "We have turned the corner on congestion and we are committed to making even more improvements to the supply chain."
The Long Beach delegation will discuss the tentative agreement on a five-year contract for dockworker labor. A decision by federal regulators to allow closer cooperation between Long Beach and its neighbor, the Port of Los Angeles, will usher in new ways to speed cargo flow. Local chassis fleets have also combined forces to create a "gray fleet" that will dramatically improve efficiencies for moving cargo by truck.
Delegation members include Harbor Commission President Drummond, Commission Vice President Rich Dines, Commissioner Lou Anne Bynum and Harbor Department Chief Executive Jon Slangerup.
In addition to the shipping lines, the delegation will meet with representatives of the Port of Marseilles. In Copenhagen, the group will meet with the Baltic and International Maritime Council, the world's largest international shipping association. In Geneva, the Long Beach group is scheduled to meet with the World Trade Organization. The Long Beach group will exchange information on trade and maritime issues with these agencies.