PORT OF LA CITES DIGITALIZATION, CYBERSECURITY FOCUS FOR 2022
January 20, 2022
Port of Los Angeles (Port of LA) saw its volumes break records last year despite congestion issues that bogged the port.
Port Executive Director Gene Seroka made the announcement of the milestone, a "Western Hemisphere record," during the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association’s seventh annual "State of the Port" event.
Seroka said Port of LA broke its previous calendar year record by 13% — processing about 10.7 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent units (TEUs) in 2021.
"Decades of development provided the berth space, backland and rail infrastructure to process more cargo than ever before," Seroka said.
Recapping the year, Seroka noted the importance of industry coming together to address challenges of the global supply chain, and highlighted the Port’s unprecedented engagement with stakeholders at all levels of industry and government to find solutions.
Investments on ports
Seroka also lauded the renewed attention and government investments being made in ports nationwide, including the US$17 billion earmarked in the recently passed national Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the US$2.3 billion that California Gov. Gavin Newsom has earmarked in his California state budget for the upcoming year.
"This level of funding represents a monumental opportunity for ports," Seroka added, noting that aside from infrastructure to promote port efficiency, Port of LA will also invest on digitalization and cybersecurity.
"Beyond freight system improvements, it will fund much-needed digital and cybersecurity infrastructure. It supports our creation of a future-ready goods movement workforce, and it aligns with our mission to lead the nation in the development of zero-emissions port drayage," he added.
Among the port initiatives and priorities for 2022 mentioned by Seroka include 1)supply chain efficiency initiatives to further digitize the supply chain and deliver digital solutions; and workforce development and job creation.
"Last year, the Port unveiled the Control Tower suite of data tools, expanding the Port Optimizer system developed by the Port in conjunction with Wabtec. The Control Tower aids cargo owners and service providers by delivering precise shipping intelligence and real-time insights on Port of Los Angeles cargo," Seroka said.
"In 2022, the Port will add further enhancements to the Port Optimizer and work with the Biden Administration to support a national Port data initiative to improve supply chain efficiency and global competitiveness."
Seroka said cybersecurity is another key focus for the port this year.
"Guarding against potential malicious cyber incidents that could threaten or disrupt the flow of cargo remains a continual focus for the Port," the port chief continued, as he revealed a "first-of-its-kind" port cyber defense system co-developed with IBM which is now in full operation.
Port of LA will also earmark more sustainability investments. Seroka said the Port is currently testing 107 zero-emission and 27 near-zero emission units in the areas of cargo handling, drayage, harbor craft and ocean-going vessel operations, a number that will grow to more than 200 units over the next 18 months.
"Reducing Port environmental impacts continues to be a primary focus," he added.
"This year, more than a half-dozen manufacturers will deploy next-generation drayage trucks in and around the Port. Seroka also announced that in April the Port will begin collecting the Clean Truck Fund Rate, which is expected to raise US$130 million over the next three years."
Seroka said those funds will be used to fund zero-emission trucks and fueling infrastructure development.
North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated US$259 billion in trade during 2020.