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Southern California Supply Chain Meetup: Panel of Experts Surface 4 Trends to Watch

Southern California Supply Chain Meetup: Panel of Experts Surface 4 Trends to Watch

Southern California Supply Chain Meetup: Panel of Experts Surface 4 Trends to Watch

Southern California Supply Chain Meetup: Panel of Experts Surface 4 Trends to Watch

Southern California Supply Chain Meetup: Panel of Experts Surface 4 Trends to Watch

Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the busiest ports in the U.S. — and the world. They’re on the front lines of supply chain challenges and innovation. For every logistics hiccup or astonishment you encounter as a company or a consumer, these ports see them first.

Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the busiest ports in the U.S. — and the world. They’re on the front lines of supply chain challenges and innovation. For every logistics hiccup or astonishment you encounter as a company or a consumer, these ports see them first.

Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the busiest ports in the U.S. — and the world. They’re on the front lines of supply chain challenges and innovation. For every logistics hiccup or astonishment you encounter as a company or a consumer, these ports see them first.

Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the busiest ports in the U.S. — and the world. They’re on the front lines of supply chain challenges and innovation. For every logistics hiccup or astonishment you encounter as a company or a consumer, these ports see them first.

Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the busiest ports in the U.S. — and the world. They’re on the front lines of supply chain challenges and innovation. For every logistics hiccup or astonishment you encounter as a company or a consumer, these ports see them first.

I invited representatives from each of these ports — Dr. Noel Hacegaba, COO at The Port of Long Beach, and Eric Caris, Director of Cargo Marketing at The Port of Los Angeles — to join Paul Bingham, Director of Transportation Consulting at S&P Global and Walker Banks, COO at PortPro, for a panel discussion at a recent Southern California Supply Chain Meetup, a part of the Worldwide Supply Chain Federation group that I founded to be valuable resource for logistics and supply chain professionals to dive into the current challenges facing all the players. Walker moderated a lively, wide-ranging discussion, and four important supply chain trends emerged as the ones to watch in 2024.

#1 Expect Slow Economic Growth

Despite the historic inflation we’ve experienced since the pandemic, U.S. consumers have remained resilient. As inflation slows down, our economy will continue to grow. “2024 is going to be very similar to 2023. We don't expect a lot of change,” said Dr. Hacegaba, based on his forecasts at The Port of Long Beach. “In fact, it's going to be more of the same, maybe 1% ahead of 2023. But we don't see many major changes.”

Domestic economic growth may be tempered by global influences. Paul Bingham of S&P Global highlighted constraints the U.S. faces in terms of workforce, regulatory environments and the geography of world trade. “Ports remain in a critical role for enabling trade and economic growth,” he said. “As far as the shifts that are happening, we can look to changes in trade patterns where perhaps more is actually sourced in finished goods quantities from Mexico to the United States…but components that flow into Mexico now come from Chinese companies that own the factories in Mexico.” In this case, existing tariffs on some Chinese imports definitely add to the complexity of the global supply chain.

#2 Port Infrastructure: Optimize Rather than Expand

Port real estate is some of the most expensive in the country. There is limited space for expansion, especially in metropolitan areas such as L.A., Long Beach, and the Port of New Jersey and New York. Port leaders will seek to maximize their properties to move cargo through the supply chain as fast as possible.

One hot topic of discussion during the Meetup was rail infrastructure in ports. “One train removes 750 trucks off the road,” said Dr. Hacegaba. Efficiency and sustainability dividends compound exponentially when cargo can be removed from ports by rail instead of trucks.

But rail projects are expensive. Eric Caris of The Port of Los Angeles pointed to the need for more grant opportunities to help fund multiple rail expansion projects taking place at his port. “These are expensive projects. Grant funding is important…But certainly as a gateway, intermodal rail is critically important,” he said.

Dr. Hacegaba emphasized how important it is to educate government leaders in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to encourage continued investment in rail infrastructure. “When they recognize how critical rail is to our future growth plans, I think it's a very compelling reason for them to invest.”

#3 An Aggressive Yet Strategic Approach to Sustainability

Having two of our nation’s busiest ports in California makes sustainability a high-priority supply chain trend every year. California’s timelines in programs such as the Advanced Clean Fleets rule and Zero Emissions Future force ports to be aggressive. “[By 2030], every single piece of equipment on the terminal yards must be zero emissions. Today in Long Beach, 22% is zero emissions,” said Dr. Hacegaba.

But market realities force ports to be strategic in how they approach aggressive goals. For example, the 2035 deadline for all trucks to be zero emission will have to be accomplished incrementally because zero-emission trucks are not currently available at scale. Again, Dr. Hacegaba: “Today, there are about 22,000 trucks in the port registry between the two ports — Los Angeles and Long Beach — and just under 200 trucks are zero emissions. So we have a long way to go.”

Investments in port operations efficiency such as rail infrastructure are examples of the ports’ strategic approach. Less than two weeks after this Meetup, The Port of Long Beach received $283M in “America’s Green Gateway” federal funding. The port’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility will directly move containers to and from marine terminals by trains.

#4 Continued digitalization of supply chains is mission-critical

Efficiency, sustainability, modernization of infrastructure…technology will play a major role in advancing all of these initiatives in 2024. According to Paul Bingham of S&P Global, “The adoption of technology, the digitalization of supply chains, the further advancement of technology penetration, the standard setting and information exchange, all becomes more incumbent on supply chain managers to make sure their company and their supply chain partners remain competitive as investments are made and the payoffs come from having greater efficiencies.”

Beyond efficiency, technology adoption will also have ripple effects across the finances of sustainability. “Financial markets tied to environmental performance, whether it's the investors putting money into companies that have better environmental performance than others, or government agencies imposing carbon taxes, that's very much going to happen and be part of this vision of the technology,” Bingham said.

Technology will also help supply chain managers keep up with the globalization issues I mentioned in trend #1. Geopolitical, climate and workforce-related issues will put pressure on supply chain managers to remain agile and adapt to changes quickly. It’s imperative that they find technology solutions to help them keep up with rapidly changing regulatory changes.

The Southern California Supply Chain Meetup is sponsored by PortPro, Harbor Trucking Association, MarineTraffic and 4th Sector Innovations. The 500+ member group sponsors up to five in-person events every year to connect supply chain professionals, technologists and other innovators across California

Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the busiest ports in the U.S. — and the world. They’re on the front lines of supply chain challenges and innovation. For every logistics hiccup or astonishment you encounter as a company or a consumer, these ports see them first.

I invited representatives from each of these ports — Dr. Noel Hacegaba, COO at The Port of Long Beach, and Eric Caris, Director of Cargo Marketing at The Port of Los Angeles — to join Paul Bingham, Director of Transportation Consulting at S&P Global and Walker Banks, COO at PortPro, for a panel discussion at a recent Southern California Supply Chain Meetup, a part of the Worldwide Supply Chain Federation group that I founded to be valuable resource for logistics and supply chain professionals to dive into the current challenges facing all the players. Walker moderated a lively, wide-ranging discussion, and four important supply chain trends emerged as the ones to watch in 2024.

#1 Expect Slow Economic Growth

Despite the historic inflation we’ve experienced since the pandemic, U.S. consumers have remained resilient. As inflation slows down, our economy will continue to grow. “2024 is going to be very similar to 2023. We don't expect a lot of change,” said Dr. Hacegaba, based on his forecasts at The Port of Long Beach. “In fact, it's going to be more of the same, maybe 1% ahead of 2023. But we don't see many major changes.”

Domestic economic growth may be tempered by global influences. Paul Bingham of S&P Global highlighted constraints the U.S. faces in terms of workforce, regulatory environments and the geography of world trade. “Ports remain in a critical role for enabling trade and economic growth,” he said. “As far as the shifts that are happening, we can look to changes in trade patterns where perhaps more is actually sourced in finished goods quantities from Mexico to the United States…but components that flow into Mexico now come from Chinese companies that own the factories in Mexico.” In this case, existing tariffs on some Chinese imports definitely add to the complexity of the global supply chain.

#2 Port Infrastructure: Optimize Rather than Expand

Port real estate is some of the most expensive in the country. There is limited space for expansion, especially in metropolitan areas such as L.A., Long Beach, and the Port of New Jersey and New York. Port leaders will seek to maximize their properties to move cargo through the supply chain as fast as possible.

One hot topic of discussion during the Meetup was rail infrastructure in ports. “One train removes 750 trucks off the road,” said Dr. Hacegaba. Efficiency and sustainability dividends compound exponentially when cargo can be removed from ports by rail instead of trucks.

But rail projects are expensive. Eric Caris of The Port of Los Angeles pointed to the need for more grant opportunities to help fund multiple rail expansion projects taking place at his port. “These are expensive projects. Grant funding is important…But certainly as a gateway, intermodal rail is critically important,” he said.

Dr. Hacegaba emphasized how important it is to educate government leaders in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to encourage continued investment in rail infrastructure. “When they recognize how critical rail is to our future growth plans, I think it's a very compelling reason for them to invest.”

#3 An Aggressive Yet Strategic Approach to Sustainability

Having two of our nation’s busiest ports in California makes sustainability a high-priority supply chain trend every year. California’s timelines in programs such as the Advanced Clean Fleets rule and Zero Emissions Future force ports to be aggressive. “[By 2030], every single piece of equipment on the terminal yards must be zero emissions. Today in Long Beach, 22% is zero emissions,” said Dr. Hacegaba.

But market realities force ports to be strategic in how they approach aggressive goals. For example, the 2035 deadline for all trucks to be zero emission will have to be accomplished incrementally because zero-emission trucks are not currently available at scale. Again, Dr. Hacegaba: “Today, there are about 22,000 trucks in the port registry between the two ports — Los Angeles and Long Beach — and just under 200 trucks are zero emissions. So we have a long way to go.”

Investments in port operations efficiency such as rail infrastructure are examples of the ports’ strategic approach. Less than two weeks after this Meetup, The Port of Long Beach received $283M in “America’s Green Gateway” federal funding. The port’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility will directly move containers to and from marine terminals by trains.

#4 Continued digitalization of supply chains is mission-critical

Efficiency, sustainability, modernization of infrastructure…technology will play a major role in advancing all of these initiatives in 2024. According to Paul Bingham of S&P Global, “The adoption of technology, the digitalization of supply chains, the further advancement of technology penetration, the standard setting and information exchange, all becomes more incumbent on supply chain managers to make sure their company and their supply chain partners remain competitive as investments are made and the payoffs come from having greater efficiencies.”

Beyond efficiency, technology adoption will also have ripple effects across the finances of sustainability. “Financial markets tied to environmental performance, whether it's the investors putting money into companies that have better environmental performance than others, or government agencies imposing carbon taxes, that's very much going to happen and be part of this vision of the technology,” Bingham said.

Technology will also help supply chain managers keep up with the globalization issues I mentioned in trend #1. Geopolitical, climate and workforce-related issues will put pressure on supply chain managers to remain agile and adapt to changes quickly. It’s imperative that they find technology solutions to help them keep up with rapidly changing regulatory changes.

The Southern California Supply Chain Meetup is sponsored by PortPro, Harbor Trucking Association, MarineTraffic and 4th Sector Innovations. The 500+ member group sponsors up to five in-person events every year to connect supply chain professionals, technologists and other innovators across California

Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the busiest ports in the U.S. — and the world. They’re on the front lines of supply chain challenges and innovation. For every logistics hiccup or astonishment you encounter as a company or a consumer, these ports see them first.

I invited representatives from each of these ports — Dr. Noel Hacegaba, COO at The Port of Long Beach, and Eric Caris, Director of Cargo Marketing at The Port of Los Angeles — to join Paul Bingham, Director of Transportation Consulting at S&P Global and Walker Banks, COO at PortPro, for a panel discussion at a recent Southern California Supply Chain Meetup, a part of the Worldwide Supply Chain Federation group that I founded to be valuable resource for logistics and supply chain professionals to dive into the current challenges facing all the players. Walker moderated a lively, wide-ranging discussion, and four important supply chain trends emerged as the ones to watch in 2024.

#1 Expect Slow Economic Growth

Despite the historic inflation we’ve experienced since the pandemic, U.S. consumers have remained resilient. As inflation slows down, our economy will continue to grow. “2024 is going to be very similar to 2023. We don't expect a lot of change,” said Dr. Hacegaba, based on his forecasts at The Port of Long Beach. “In fact, it's going to be more of the same, maybe 1% ahead of 2023. But we don't see many major changes.”

Domestic economic growth may be tempered by global influences. Paul Bingham of S&P Global highlighted constraints the U.S. faces in terms of workforce, regulatory environments and the geography of world trade. “Ports remain in a critical role for enabling trade and economic growth,” he said. “As far as the shifts that are happening, we can look to changes in trade patterns where perhaps more is actually sourced in finished goods quantities from Mexico to the United States…but components that flow into Mexico now come from Chinese companies that own the factories in Mexico.” In this case, existing tariffs on some Chinese imports definitely add to the complexity of the global supply chain.

#2 Port Infrastructure: Optimize Rather than Expand

Port real estate is some of the most expensive in the country. There is limited space for expansion, especially in metropolitan areas such as L.A., Long Beach, and the Port of New Jersey and New York. Port leaders will seek to maximize their properties to move cargo through the supply chain as fast as possible.

One hot topic of discussion during the Meetup was rail infrastructure in ports. “One train removes 750 trucks off the road,” said Dr. Hacegaba. Efficiency and sustainability dividends compound exponentially when cargo can be removed from ports by rail instead of trucks.

But rail projects are expensive. Eric Caris of The Port of Los Angeles pointed to the need for more grant opportunities to help fund multiple rail expansion projects taking place at his port. “These are expensive projects. Grant funding is important…But certainly as a gateway, intermodal rail is critically important,” he said.

Dr. Hacegaba emphasized how important it is to educate government leaders in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to encourage continued investment in rail infrastructure. “When they recognize how critical rail is to our future growth plans, I think it's a very compelling reason for them to invest.”

#3 An Aggressive Yet Strategic Approach to Sustainability

Having two of our nation’s busiest ports in California makes sustainability a high-priority supply chain trend every year. California’s timelines in programs such as the Advanced Clean Fleets rule and Zero Emissions Future force ports to be aggressive. “[By 2030], every single piece of equipment on the terminal yards must be zero emissions. Today in Long Beach, 22% is zero emissions,” said Dr. Hacegaba.

But market realities force ports to be strategic in how they approach aggressive goals. For example, the 2035 deadline for all trucks to be zero emission will have to be accomplished incrementally because zero-emission trucks are not currently available at scale. Again, Dr. Hacegaba: “Today, there are about 22,000 trucks in the port registry between the two ports — Los Angeles and Long Beach — and just under 200 trucks are zero emissions. So we have a long way to go.”

Investments in port operations efficiency such as rail infrastructure are examples of the ports’ strategic approach. Less than two weeks after this Meetup, The Port of Long Beach received $283M in “America’s Green Gateway” federal funding. The port’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility will directly move containers to and from marine terminals by trains.

#4 Continued digitalization of supply chains is mission-critical

Efficiency, sustainability, modernization of infrastructure…technology will play a major role in advancing all of these initiatives in 2024. According to Paul Bingham of S&P Global, “The adoption of technology, the digitalization of supply chains, the further advancement of technology penetration, the standard setting and information exchange, all becomes more incumbent on supply chain managers to make sure their company and their supply chain partners remain competitive as investments are made and the payoffs come from having greater efficiencies.”

Beyond efficiency, technology adoption will also have ripple effects across the finances of sustainability. “Financial markets tied to environmental performance, whether it's the investors putting money into companies that have better environmental performance than others, or government agencies imposing carbon taxes, that's very much going to happen and be part of this vision of the technology,” Bingham said.

Technology will also help supply chain managers keep up with the globalization issues I mentioned in trend #1. Geopolitical, climate and workforce-related issues will put pressure on supply chain managers to remain agile and adapt to changes quickly. It’s imperative that they find technology solutions to help them keep up with rapidly changing regulatory changes.

The Southern California Supply Chain Meetup is sponsored by PortPro, Harbor Trucking Association, MarineTraffic and 4th Sector Innovations. The 500+ member group sponsors up to five in-person events every year to connect supply chain professionals, technologists and other innovators across California

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