The images of laden cargo ships waiting off the shores of Los Angeles and shipping containers stacked high at the ports last year were frustrating memories for manufacturers in multiple industries dealing with supply shortages.
While the situation has eased a bit, the ports are "still very much in recovery mode," said Noel Hacegaba, Port of Long Beach deputy executive director of administration and operations, during the recent Auto Care Association's 2022 Business Outlook webinar.
He discussed how the ports in Southern California handle the majority of the nation's imports and yet, despite the disruptions brought by the pandemic, the port operations stayed open every day.
"The bright spot in 2021 is, despite the record volumes, despite tight capacity up and down the supply chain, the ports in southern California moved 20 million container units. That's the highest ever," he said.
Hacegaba said 2021 was a record year with an 18-percent increase in volume, which, he said, "speaks to the collaboration in the supply chain to move volume through the system."
He acknowledged that 2021 was a challenging year with people shifting their spending from services to goods, which tested the capability of not just the ports, but the entire supply chain.