Port of Oakland chief asks state help in supply chain crisis
'We need solutions from all levels of government' - Danny Wan
Sacramento, Calif., Nov. 5, 2021 – Speaking as President of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA), Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan requested state help on Wednesday to ease a U.S. supply chain crisis. He called for increased collaboration and solutions from all levels of government as containerized cargo continues to back up at California ports. Inaction could result in freight migration – and job loss – to other states, CAPA President, Danny Wan warned.
“The current congestion that we see today is a result of decades of underinvestment in our ports and supply chain,” Mr. Wan said at the California Legislature’s Select Committee on Ports and Good Movement. “Notably there is an 11-to-1 imbalance in federal transportation and waterside spending on other port complexes around the country compared to those made here in our state,” he said.
Mr. Wan recommended everything from a state-funded supply chain investment fund to land dedicated to cargo container storage. His request came as scores of ships daily wait to berth at Southern California ports and cargo languishes on docks. The months-long supply chain crisis is blamed for consumer good shortages and a spike in U.S. inflation.
According to Mr. Wan, California ports have handled record cargo volumes in the past two years due to skyrocketing consumer purchasing during the pandemic that continues. The result has been a widespread supply-chain challenge not only for the U.S., but globally as well.
Government assistance at all levels is needed to further ease supply chain congestion, Mr. Wan urged legislators. More federal port funding must go to California, he said. Mr. Wan added that West Coast ports were under funded by comparison relative to their degree of national economic importance and jobs generation.
According to CAPA, more than 1 million California jobs and 3 million jobs nationally are linked to trade through CAPA member ports. California port activities generate an estimated $9 billion in state and local tax revenue annually.
In addition to funding, here’s what else the Port of Oakland Executive Director asked for:
- Training centers throughout the state to develop a stronger supply chain workforce;
- Creation of a California freight policy that can authorize emergency action in times of cargo congestion; and
- Long-term state and federal infrastructure investment at ports.
“The California Association of Port Authorities represents 11 ports accounting for 40 percent of the nation’s imports and 30 percent of U.S. exports,” testified CAPA President Wan.“ Assistance to the state’s ports is critical to supporting the U.S. economy,” Mr. Wan emphasized.
“The global congestion caused by our broken supply chain requires public policy changes that can be addressed by our state leaders,” Mr. Wan said.
About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. The Port's 5-year strategic plan - Growth with Care - pairs business expansion with community benefits, envisioning more jobs and economic stimulus as the Port grows. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 84,000 jobs. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.