A special hearing was held by the Joint Assembly and Senate Select Committees on Ports and Goods Movement at their special hearing in Sacramento on the West Coast Port Crisis.
Association President and CEO of the California Cotton Ginner and Growers Association Roger Isom was asked by the Committee to speak to the impact of the crisis on agriculture. Additional panelists included representatives from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California Association of Port Authorities, California Retailers Association, California State Transportation Authority, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, BNSF, Teamsters and the ILWU.
Isom’s comments focused on quantifying the costs and impact to agricultural exports, and outlined the direct problems faced by the industry included rolled bookings and the cancellation of Shipping Lines coming to Oakland to take exports. Isom stated “taking empties back to Asia, bypassing Oakland and leaving ag exports on the docks is clearly a trade issue…agriculture and our inability to get our exports out is simply collateral damage.
We need solutions and we need them yesterday.” He stated. While the state of California has little jurisdiction on issues affecting the crisis, they can help with some of the short-term solutions to alleviate the logjam, including finding off-port storage and other potential solutions.