U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero addressed
the Professional Environmental Management Association (PEMA) at its Annual Ports Program held in Seal Beach, California
. The Chairman spoke on the subject of congestion at U.S. ports and the vital role of sustainable development of ports and related transportation infrastructure.
Chairman Cordero described causes of, and the need for solutions to congestion, with a focus on the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Chairman Cordero also explained the Commission’s efforts to facilitate discussions among stakeholders. He noted that the Commission recently allowed two agreements to become effective as scheduled that promote discussion by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, marine terminal operators and vessel-operating common carriers on solutions to port congestion.
Cordero remarked that the growth of U.S. imports and exports will continue and the space for port complexes to grow is finite. Solutions to inefficiencies characteristic of port congestion and matters related to the sustainability of port development require stakeholders to use time, terminal space and transportation infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and to use the most energy efficient equipment reasonably available.
The Chairman acknowledged efforts by the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach to increase port efficiency, including development of the Middle Harbor Terminal at the Port of Long Beach as a world class advanced technology facility; each port’s development of "Peel Off" facilities that more quickly move large numbers of dockside containers to outlying facilities; and the development of gray chassis pools.
Chairman Cordero highlighted the ports’ successes in improving air quality since 2005, crediting the large reductions in emissions resulting from the ban of heavy-duty trucks that did not meet 2007 Federal Clean Truck Emissions Standards and providing financial incentives for ocean going vessels that reduce speed within 40 nautical miles, and for deployment of more efficient vessels.