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Selling Port of LA short

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
August 08, 2011

Shippers concerned about the viability of the Port of Los Angeles in the 21st Century are advised to read two compelling arguments recently posted on mainstream political sites.

Joel Kotkin, a Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Chapman University in Orange County and an adjunct fellow with the Legatum Institute in London, writes in City Journal that time may be running out for LA.

In “Lost Angeles: The City of Angeles Goes To Hell,” he notes that business-strangling regulations proliferate, thereby posing a severe threat to the ongoing dominance of the city-run port:

“Many of these originate with the environmental movement, which [Mayor] Villaraigosa and other Democrats count on for political support and media validation. The city has tried repeatedly to control emissions at the port from ships and trucks, for example. Also harmful are various labor-friendly regulations, such as the city’s effort to expand unions’ presence from the docks to the entire network of trucks serving the port—essentially forcing out independent carriers, many of them Latino entrepreneurs, in favor of larger firms using Teamster drivers.”

John R. McLaurin, President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, writes in a similar vein about the state in general for Fox & Hounds Daily. In his opinion piece, “Lt. Governor’s Proposal – It’s time to move forward,” he observes that because of California’s inability to build major infrastructure projects, California’s role as a gateway for trade is threatened as alternative gateways are being developed throughout North America:

“Nowhere is this more self-evident than in Southern California where it took over 15 years from inception to completion just to finalize an environmental review and associated permits to modernize an existing marine terminal.  While regulators were dickering, during that same time period cargo terminals were conceived, planned, permitted, constructed and operational in States like Florida, Texas, Washington, Alabama, Virginia and in British Columbia, Canada.  Expansion of the Panama Canal went from concept to a massive multi-billion dollar project on the verge of completion.”

Readers of LM are all too aware of this ongoing threat, and will be making their future shipping and sourcing decisions accordingly.

About the Author

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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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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