Port of LA has new strategic plan

The plan focuses on three key result areas: competitive operations, strong relationships and financial strength

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In a move signaling a commitment to long-term leadership, The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has unanimously adopted a five-year strategic plan the Port of Los Angeles for 2012-2017.

The plan focuses on three “key result areas,” or KRAs: competitive operations, strong relationships and financial strength.

It maps out the port’s priorities, objectives and various initiatives for developing infrastructure, enhancing overall competitiveness, growing market share, optimizing land use, advancing maritime technologies and sustainability efforts, and maintaining the port’s top ranking as the nation’s ocean cargo gateway to the Pacific Rim

According to analysts at Zepol Corporation, a leading trade intelligence service, the Port of Los Angeles increased in imports by 22.4 percent from February, but is down 10.6 percent from January

Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  noted that “changing economic tides will require new and innovative approaches.” She called the current strategy “a forward-thinking game plan.”

As the port faces increasing competitive challenges in the coming years, the plan’s “competitive operations” component includes initiatives focused on developing and maintaining a world-class infrastructure; retaining and growing market share; advancing technology and sustainability, as well as optimizing land use.

Similarly, as part of its focus on building “strong relationships,” the Port will undertake a number of initiatives to increase stakeholder and community awareness and support, and to create a positive workplace culture.  The plan’s “financial strength” initiatives will center on enhancing cash flow, improving financial reporting and audits, and diversifying and maximizing grant funding.

Maritime director, Kraig Jondle, Director of Business and Trade Developmentat the Port of Los Angeles, said the existing infrastructure and ongoing expansion of terminals and warehousing will only make the port more attractive for trade in both directions.

“It’s encouraging see that exports are ramping up,” he said, “but we are forecasting a steady increase in inbound calls, too. We work very closely with the Port of Long Beach to ensure that Southern California can compete with ports anywhere in the nation. We have deep water and a great rail network, so we don’t have to raise bridges or dredge harbors.”


The strategic planning process began in March 2011 and builds on the previous 2006-2011 Five-Year Strategic Plan. In addition to input from a multi-division Port Strategic Plan Task Force, Harbor Commissioners also provided input and feedback on various drafts of the Plan, as did port staff, constituents, customers and labor representatives. Metrics to measure the port’s performance and success in implementing the initiatives are also in included in the plan.

The strategic plan will undergo continuous “evolution” and performance measurement over the next five years and an annual assessment and re-evaluation to ensure relevance prior to the start of the annual budget process. An organizational performance dashboard will be used to measure progress towards implementing the initiatives.


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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