The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


LA/Long Beach Port Infrastructure and Environmental Amendment Clears FMC Review

February 26, 2015

NR 15-01

Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)

Under its expedited agreement review procedures, the Federal Maritime Commission has concluded its review of a proposed amendment to the Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Infrastructure and Environmental Programs Cooperative Working Agreement, FMC Agreement No. 201219-001. The Commission's unanimous decision grants the parties request for expedited review and permits the amendment to become effective on Friday, February 27, 2015.

Operating since March 2013, the agreement allows, among other things, the ports to discuss and agree on projects and programs that address transportation infrastructure needs and reduce pollution caused by port-related activities. The proposed amendment clarifies the purpose of the agreement to more accurately reflect the current goals of the Ports, and to allow for the discussion of projects and programs with multiple stakeholders in and around the port complex. Addressing port congestion will be a particular focus, including establishing initiatives to increase terminal productivity, facilitate chassis availability and usage, and improve drayage truck turn times.

The Commission’s decision is based on a determination that the agreement is not likely at this time, by a reduction in competition, to produce an unreasonable increase in transportation cost or an unreasonable reduction in transportation service under section 6(g) of the Shipping Act.

Chairman Cordero said, "A major responsibility of the Commission is to review and oversee competitive agreements. Today’s global competitive environment mandates that our nation’s ports maintain competitive transportation gateways in the interest of moving cargo in efficient and cost effective systems. Cooperative agreements among ports who serve a common region are now paramount in order to improve port-related transportation infrastructure and facilitating cargo movement.  The Southern California Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, our Nation’s largest port complex, are in a unique position as landlord ports to facilitate discussion among all industry stakeholders and work toward solutions to issues facing the ocean transportation industry including the vital question of port congestion."

"I am optimistic that the ports’ amended agreement will help address their serious congestion issues as the agreement: clarifies and expands the ports’ authorities in order to meet the changing dynamics of the industry and the impacts of those dynamics on the ports’ gateways; enables the two ports to jointly address concerns regarding supply chain issues, operational efficiencies and marine terminal velocities; highlights the ports’ long-term environmental commitments while pursuing future endeavors; renews their commitment to enhance truck drayage and other transport processes and strengthens the ports’ continuing commitments to safety, security and infrastructure development. Accordingly, the Commission strongly supports the initiative by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to further their partnership to address such objectives," said Chairman Cordero.

The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.