As is the theme of the first month of the new year, officials are preparing to recap the year that passed and look to the future, with the usual ceremony.
In this instance, the Port of Long Beach (POLB) will host the State of the Port next week, on Thursday, January 21. It will be POLB CEO Jon Slangerup’s second such address, since he began his tenure in June 2014.
“The focus will be mainly on 2015, which was quite an eventful year,” said POLB Spokesperson Lee Peterson. “However, [Slangerup] will also take the opportunity to look forward and share the port’s plan to lead the industry into a greener future.”
One topic sure to be a point of focus is the port’s stellar year in cargo traffic, with 2015 numbers 5.5 percent ahead of 2014, as of November. Other recent highlights include the $1.2 billion approved by Congress for the dredging and maintenance of the LA and Long Beach ports.
Slangerup predicted an uptick in port productivity in his address last year.
“In total we've moved nearly seven million TEUs and with the U.S. economy continuing to improve, with unemployment going down, gas prices heading down, resurgent manufacturing and higher consumer spending, we expect economic gains this year,” he said. “And the strengthening of the U.S. dollar will mean that our imports will be growing faster than our exports again this year.”
An update on Slangerup’s goals to reduce the port’s congestion, stated last year, is sure to be a topic as well.
It’s unclear whether or not the negotiations that resulted in a port slowdown last year will figure prominently in the discussion, or if contentious lawsuits between certain shipping companies and employees alleging wage theft and misclassification will be mentioned.
“It’s basically a look at how the year went and what it means moving forward,” said Peterson.
While all are welcome to attend, the event will also be webcast live.
To attend the State of the Port, RSVP at here. For questions or to RSVP by phone, contact Kezia Daniels at 562.283.7710.