Newsom announces plan to ease cargo container issues at California ports

California

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTXL) — State and federal leaders said they’re taking action to keep goods moving through California ports amid global supply chain issues.

Over the last two weeks, state leaders said the amount of cargo sitting on two major Southern California docks has decreased by 32% but that more work needs to be done.

Gov. Gavin Newsom visited the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday as containers and idle ships continue to clog Southern California ports.

“This is jaw-dropping and without precedent,” Newsom said.

He announced the state will issue temporary permits to allow trucks to carry more cargo.

“While that might not pose an immediate relief on the retail front, it will have a substantial benefit on industrial and manufacturing cargo and containers that will make their way into the ports of Long Beach and L.A.,” Newsom explained.

The governor said his administration is still working on identifying property to temporarily store containers. He’s also directed the Department of Motor Vehicles to extend hours at some locations to process more commercial driver’s licenses.

The move is all part of an effort to cut down on the number of stacked containers sitting at the port.

John Porcari is the port envoy for President Joe Biden’s administration. He noted the federal infrastructure bill the president recently signed dedicates $17 billion to revamping ports across the country.

“The visual you see here of ships at anchor is indicative of a larger lack of investment that we’ve made as a nation,” Porcari explained.

Newsom said the state will be aggressive in getting its fair share of the money. Meanwhile, California is projected to see another historic $31 billion state budget surplus.

Newsom promised to allocate big money for what has become a big problem.

“We are going to substantially increase our one-time investments into infrastructure and that’s one preview you can count on with the utilization of that surplus,” Newsom said.  

The preview Newsom referred to comes ahead of his state budget presentation which happens in January.

Newsom’s administration is expected to finalize its list of properties to help offload cargo by Dec. 15.

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