According to Donald Snyder, director of trade development at the Port of Long Beach, all 11 CAPA ports were in favour of the increase and would unanimously vote to adopt it.
All port rates would be affected, including wharf, dockage and pilotage, as well as environmental projects such as ‘Clean Trucks’ and ‘Green Flag’. In addition, cargo storage and area assignments would also increase, as would port lease agreements.
Objecting to the recommendation from the port’s Board of Harbour Commissioners, PMSA vice-president, Michele Grubbs, urged the port not to implement the increase, pointing out that costs at Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles were already the highest in the country at a time when the shipping industry is losing millions.
In a letter to the port, PMSA stated that the increase would come at a time when Californian ports are losing market share and that the suggestion did not take into account the state of the economy, the industry or its impact on competitiveness.
It also noted that California lease rates are among the highest in the nation, with port customers and tenants also facing US$5bn in state-imposed environmental costs.
Citing that Californian ports faced growing competition from Canada, Mexico and the US Gulf and East Coast ports with the expansion of the Panama Canal, the association considered the proposed increase to be “counterintuitive” to the ‘Beat the Canal’ campaign being waged by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.