Biden, Local Port Official meet on Supply Chain

LONG BEACH, CA – President Joe Biden met Friday morning with Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero and Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal at the San Pedro Bay ports complex to address investments aimed at bolstering trade and building a resilient supply chain.

The meeting aboard the USS Iowa coincided with the final day of the Summit of the Americas, where Biden had introduced his Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity to drive economic growth across the country. Cordero participated in the summit’s “Los Angeles: A Path to Resiliency” panel on Wednesday to discuss the Port’s development of a real-time cargo tracking tool and plans to improve environmental sustainability.

“President Biden’s visit underscores his administration’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the Port of Long Beach can thrive as an economic engine for Southern California and the nation,” said Cordero, who was appointed this week to the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This special collaboration allows us to continue making the necessary investments in infrastructure and cutting-edge technology that will allow us to remain a leader in trans-Pacific trade.”

“From the start, President Biden made a long-term commitment to help us address the many challenges across the supply chain,” said Commission President Neal. “We hope our continued partnership will allow the Port to grow, create jobs, and facilitate the efficient and sustainable movement of goods.”

Biden, Cordero and Neal addressed how higher prices in logistics and transportation are contributing to inflation, ongoing efforts to quickly move cargo containers from the docks to consumer doorsteps, and funding for critical infrastructure projects at the Port of Long Beach.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration awarded a $52.3 million grant in late 2021 to the Port of Long Beach to develop the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, which will enable the nation’s second-busiest seaport to move more cargo by trains, improve efficiency and lessen environmental impacts.

The Port is working with federal, state and local leaders within the goods movement industry to develop immediate and long-term solutions to cargo congestion, including a move toward 24-hour terminal operations, strengthening freight policies for seaports across the country, and digitizing information. To meet those needs, Cordero has long advocated for around-the-clock movement of goods. Additionally, the Port earlier this year announced the development of the Supply Chain Information Highway data solution to provide greater cargo visibility, connectivity and predictability. The service will be free to all users and delivers data for shippers and other stakeholders to integrate into their own systems.