Priority freight routes in plan to tackle jammed ports

21 October 2021

California’s governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order aimed at tackling supply chain disruption caused by congested ports.

The order directs state agencies to identify state-owned properties and other locations that could be used for short-term storage of goods once they are unloaded from ships.

Priority freight routes where trucks could carry heavier loads, above current limits, should also be identified.

The order directs the Department of Finance to work with state agencies to develop longer-term solutions that support port operations and goods movement, for consideration in January’s Governor’s Budget. This could include port and transportation infrastructure improvements, electrification of the goods movement system from port to delivery, and workforce development.

Record demand for imported goods combined with capacity issues across the entire supply chain have slowed distribution at ports on the California coast.

“California’s ports are critical to our local, state and national economies and the state is taking action to support goods movement in the face of global disruptions,” said Newsom.

“My administration will continue to work with federal, state, labour and industry partners on innovative solutions to tackle immediate challenges while also bringing our distribution processes into the 21st century.”

Last week, the US government announced a series of measures to combat bottlenecks at ports, including 24-hour operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are the point of entry of 40% of containers to the US.

Major companies agreed to extend operating hours, in particular night working and other off-peak times, including Walmart, UPS, Fedex, Samsung, Home Depot and Target.

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