IWLA calls pending California legislation a “job killer”

The bill under consideration in the state assembly, called AB 950 - Perez and Swanson, would mandate that only one form of labor – employee drivers – may transport truck shipments into and out of the ports of California.

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Proposed legislation in California that would make that state’s ports less competitive with other Pacific Rim and Gulf ports is being opposed by The International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA).

The bill under consideration in the state assembly, called AB 950 - Perez and Swanson, would mandate that only one form of labor – employee drivers – may transport truck shipments into and out of the ports of California.

The legislation would ban self-employed small business owners from trucking containers into and out of the California ports.?Currently, the Port of Long Beach is using a “hybrid” model, which permits free market truckers to compete for drayage against organized drivers. In all cases, however, the port mandates that cleaner fuel burning vehicles be used.

The Port of Los Angeles, meanwhile, continues to campaign for employee drivers. The Port of Oakland, too, appears to be headed for a similar program pending the outcome of current litigation.

“Should California enact this legislation, it will have the only ports in the United States that mandate that truck owner-operators cannot participate in the movement of freight,” said IWLA president and CEO Joel D. Anderson.

“Much of California’s tax revenues and wealth creation come from international trade and commerce that streams through its ports. While the rest of the nation competes for these jobs, this bill would take the opposite approach by being openly hostile to new jobs and trade activity.”

Zepol Corporation, a leading trade data and market intelligence company specializing in ocean cargo data, said that freight is already flowing away from California ports due to expenses related to this and other “green” issues.

“Long Beach and Los Angeles lost a combined 4 percent and 14 percent, respectively last year,” said Zepol’s president, Paul Rasmussen. “East Coast ports are picking up this traffic. New York/New Jersey and Houston were the biggest winners on the container front in the past two years.”

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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