Port of Oakland chief asks state help in supply chain crisis

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Speaking as president of the California Assn. of Port Authorities, Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan requested the state’s help to ease a U.S. supply chain crisis as containerized cargo continues to back up at California ports.

He called for increased collaboration and solutions from all levels of government. Inaction could result in freight migration — and job loss — to other states, Wan warned.

“The current congestion that we see today is a result of decades of underinvestment in our ports and supply chain,” Wan said at the California Legislature’s Select Committee on Ports and Good Movement. He 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.

According to Wan, California ports have handled record cargo volumes in the past two years due to skyrocketing consumer purchasing. The result has been a widespread supply-chain challenge not only for the U.S., but globally as well.

More federal port funding must go to California, Wan said, adding 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.

The Port of Oakland executive director also asked for:

  • Training centers throughout the state to develop a stronger workforce
  • Creation of a California freight policy that can authorize emergency action in times of cargo congestion
  • Long-term state and federal infrastructure investment at ports

“The California Assn. of Port Authorities represents 11 ports accounting for 40% of the nation’s imports and 30% of U.S. exports,” Wan said. “Assistance to the state’s ports is critical to supporting the U.S. economy.”



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