Recent images from the Port of Los Angeles shows the severity of the cargo slowdown as ships cancel their arrivals due to the supply chain disruptions caused by coronavirus.
LOS ANGELES – Eugene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, which handles primarily cargo to and from China has said that the facility experienced 20 to 25 percent less business in February compared to the same period last year.
Seroka said some 40 vessels that had been scheduled to arrive at the port through April had been cancelled due to the outbreak of the virus.
Those grim numbers jibe with what Derek Salcido, a longshoreman working at port has been posting on Twitter. Here’s a video he put up over a week ago.
Officials at the Port said on Wednesday that they have been significantly impacted by the new coronavirus outbreak and are forecasting a 15 to 17 percent drop in activity in the first quarter of the year.
Seroka warned that the drop in business would impact workers and the wider community. The port’s longshore workers will be the first and hardest hit by the loss of cargo.
Salcido also posted a week ago that his container terminal in the Port of Los Angeles had informed its workers “…that they were gonna lay-off 40% of their steady longshore workforce due to ship cancellations.”
Here’s a live stream from POLA. When we were watching it today (March 5) at 08:00 am Los Angeles time there was almost no traffic.
“In summation, for our port community, less cargo means fewer jobs,” Seroka said in his address to city council on Wednesday, adding that some dock workers had been asked to stay home because there is not enough work.
“It is our estimation that the effects of the coronavirus and the downturn in trade will cost us tens of billions of dollars in the industry when all is said and done,” he warned. “The issue today is that empty containers, perishable commodities and agricultural products are stacking up at our ports because of those vessel sailing cancellations.
“That will cause the American farmer further harm on top of the trade tariffs,” he said, referring to the US-China trade war.
The American Association of Port Authorities said in a statement last week that cargo volume at many US ports during the first quarter of 2020 may be down by 20 percent or more compared to 2019 because of the spreading virus.
The outbreak of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the mounting number of people infected has sent shockwaves through world markets.
Almost 97,000 people have been infected and around 3,305 have died worldwide from the virus.