Searchable Goods Movement Timeline

Search Filter

Date range:
to
Date Headline Source
Aug 16, 2017

LA FLEET WEEK® 2017 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS ANNOUNCED

Online Edition

SAN PEDRO, Calif. - LA Fleet Week® 2017 returns to the LA Waterfront this Labor Day Weekend with a full line-up of entertainment, new attractions and friendly competitive events. With even more planned for the Monday holiday this year, the four-day event’s action-packed schedule has just been released at www.lafleetweek.com.

“This year’s LA Fleet Week has something for everyone to enjoy,” said Jonathan Williams, executive director of the LA Fleet Week Foundation. “We’ve also added many new attractions on the Labor Day holiday so that families can come to the LA Waterfront and make a full day of it.”

The San Pedro Historic Business District officially kicks off festivities Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. with a Hollywood-themed welcome party in downtown San Pedro. Free and open to the public, the party will celebrate the thousands of active service members from the visiting military ships arriving throughout the week.

In line with its mission to honor the nation’s military, this year’s LA Fleet Week will feature even more military equipment displays and demonstrations than last year’s inaugural event. There will also be a U.S. Bank Veterans Village, Sailor Bar on the Battleship IOWA, and aerial search-and-rescue demonstrations throughout the weekend. Free public tours of visiting military ships will take place daily, but available only on a limited, first-come, first-serve basis for those without previously booked online reservations.

New this year will be displays and booths highlighting first responders and emergency/disaster preparedness at the LA Fleet Week “Humanitarian Village.” Participants include the Los Angeles Emergency Management Division, Los Angeles Police Department, MySafeLA, and Team Rubicon USA, a disaster response veterans service organization. Returning by popular demand will also be the STEM Expo, an interactive and fun way to expose children of all ages to science, technology, engineering, and math.

A two-day rivalry basketball tournament between the City of Los Angeles and U.S. Military presented by Ariza Elevated Game Awards is slated for Saturday and Sunday, which is free and open to the public. For the Labor Day Monday holiday, organizers have added a full day of activities, starting first with the “Conquer the Bridge” race across the Vincent Thomas Bridge and a celebratory Victory breakfast for race participants. Later in the afternoon, a ‘Galley Wars’ culinary competition among cooks representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and Royal Canadian Navy, which is also free and open to the public. The cook-off judging panel includes celebrity chefs Robert Irvine, Mei Lin, and Steve Samson. After an evening of popular tribute bands, British rockers The Babys take the main stage to close out the four-day celebration.

Throughout the weekend, LA Fleet Week will also feature free performances by a variety of entertainers and musical acts, including the Bob Hope USO. Other evening headliners include rock band Quiet Riot, followed by Grammy award-winning Los Lobos on Friday. Saturday night’s concert will feature rocker Vince Neil, lead vocalist of Mötley Crüe, followed by a fireworks display presented by the Annenberg Foundation. Country rockers Shannon Rae and Brent Payne take the main stage on Sunday night.

LA Fleet Week is a U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard tradition, in which active military ships recently deployed overseas dock in a variety of major cities for one week. In November 2015, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Navy officials and the Port of Los Angeles announced that Los Angeles had been selected as an official Fleet Week market for the U.S. Navy.  Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 200,000 people.

LA Fleet Week major sponsors include American Airlines, Andeavor, The Annenberg Foundation, Bob Hope USO, Clyde & Company, Delta Airlines, East West Bank, F&M Bank, Liberty Creek Wines, NBCUniversal, UPS and US Bank.  Providing overall leadership and guidance for the event is the LA Fleet Week Leadership Council, comprised of community leaders in various sectors who are dedicated to supporting and advancing the mission of the annual LA Fleet Week event. 

In addition to the LA Fleet Week website where visitors can get event information and sign up for email updates, event developments are also being announced on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as @LAFleetWeek, or can be tracked on social media using #LAFleetWeek2017.

Online Edition

SAN PEDRO, Calif. - LA Fleet Week® 2017 returns to the LA Waterfront this Labor Day Weekend with a full line-up of entertainment, new attractions and friendly competitive events. With even more planned for the Monday holiday this year, the four-day event’s action-packed schedule has just been released at www.lafleetweek.com.

Nov 14, 2014

In Long Beach and Los Angeles port labor dispute, Mayor Eric Garcetti to meet with trucking company

Online Edition

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti planned to meet this afternoon with officials from Total Transportation Services to discuss a labor dispute between the short-haul company and Los Angeles/Long Beach port truck drivers, who allege they’re being misclassified as contractors when they should be paid as full-time employees.

Garcetti’s staff was scheduled to meet with another trucking company, Pacific 9 Transportation, which is also being targeted in the port driver’s strike, mayoral spokesman Yusef Robb said.

A third trucking company, Green Fleet Transportation, resumed a “cooling-off” period with port drivers Thursday, Robb said.

Online Edition

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti planned to meet this afternoon with officials from Total Transportation Services to discuss a labor dispute between the short-haul company and Los Angeles/Long Beach port truck drivers, who allege they’re being misclassified as contractors when they should be paid as full-time employees.

Oct 28, 2016

Port of Oakland reduces diesel emissions 76% in 10 years

Online Edition

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Port of Oakland, a major source of pollution announced just how much just a decade of really reducing pollution, really has benefited everyone. 

Compared to 2005, 2015 ended with an overall 76% decrease in diesel emissions from all sources from ships to port vehicles and everything in between.

These numbers do make us one of the cleanest ports of our size in the country, if not the world," says Richard Sinkoff, the Port's Environmental Manager.

Emissions from locomotives: down 89%. Cargo handling machines: down 82% Ships themselves: down 75%. That's because the Port installed dockside shore power which many, eventually all ships, can plug into and shut down their massive diesel engines.

"This is one of the only places in the world where ships are required to plug into grid power and the reduction of diesel particulates is tremendous when the plug in," says Port Director Chris Lytle.

But the reduction in particulate pollution from trucks, the stuff that really hurts your lungs and harms your health, which is the number one source here at the Port of Oakland, has been nothing short of spectacular.

Because regulators required truckers to upgrade or replace their old smoke bomb rigs, port trucks put out 98% less pollution than a decade ago because they were sickening and killing the neighbors.

"We suffer three times the particulate matter of anywhere else in the Bay Area and black children are two and a half times more likely to visit the ER for asthma than any other Bay Area children," says Lynette Gibson-McIllheny of the Oakland City Council.
But it's getting better and better.

"These are the cleanest trucks used in any port, any place in the country," says Port Director Lytle. It's very good but we still have a ways to go. "My dream, my goal and the next campaign will be, 'how do we get to zero emissions?'" says  Margaret Gordon, a West Oakland resident and activist.

There's good news on that front too. GSC Logistics has one of the port's largest truck fleets. "In fact, GSC Logistics will be testing battery operated trucks in 2017," says Scott Taylor, GSC Logistics CEO. "And really transform the Port and the local community so that we're not relying on fossil fuels," adds Jack Broadbent, Directro of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

 

 

Online Edition

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Port of Oakland, a major source of pollution announced just how much just a decade of really reducing pollution, really has benefited everyone. 

Compared to 2005, 2015 ended with an overall 76% decrease in diesel emissions from all sources from ships to port vehicles and everything in between.

These numbers do make us one of the cleanest ports of our size in the country, if not the world," says Richard Sinkoff, the Port's Environmental Manager.

May 20, 2016

Otto Self-Driving Truck Company Wants to Replace Teamsters

Otto Self-Driving Truck Company Wants to Replace Teamsters - IEEE Spectrum

 

Ottomotto, a newly unveiled startup formed by veterans of the Google car project, is planning to provide self-driving technology to today’s long-haul trucks.

 

It’s a logical first application. Semitrailers spend most of their time on highways, and highway driving is by far the easiest sort of driving to automate. So close is the industry to that goal that companies like Tesla and Daimler already feel the need to use buzzers and other tricks to prod drivers away from their daydreams when their hands are off the steering wheel for more than a few seconds.

 

Anthony Levandowski left the Google car project to start the company back in January, the Wall Street Journal reports. Lior Ron, who had been in charge of Google Maps, also joined, along with 39 others, including some from Tesla and Apple—both of which are also working on robocar technology.

 

Levandowski told the Journal that his company, which he calls Otto for short, wouldseek a competitive advantage by retrofitting existing trucks rather than putting self-driving systems into new ones. Otto, so far mostly a self-funded operation, is working with three Volvo trucks. 

 

Otto Self-Driving Truck Company Wants to Replace Teamsters - IEEE Spectrum

 

One big incentive for roboticizing the truck fleet is to stretch out the thin supply of long-haul drivers, which is 50,000 short of the mark in the United States, according to the American Trucking Associations. Strict rules require that drivers rest at set intervals, a problem that could be eased if drivers could lounge in the back of the cabin while the truck cruises the highway unattended.

 

Other firms are taking a different tack. For instance, Peloton Technology, of Mountain View, Calif., specializes in platooning, in which a lead truck driven by a professional driver leads a string of autonomous trucks behind it. Volvo, an investor in Peloton, has long been a pioneer of platooning, as it recently demonstrated with three convoys of two or three trucks each; the longest convoy trip was from Stockholm to Rotterdam.

 

Drivers had to be in all the trucks, and they had to attend to the road, as the laws still require. But even so, platooning saves time and money by allowing the trucks to stay in close formation, thus minimizing air resistance.

Otto Self-Driving Truck Company Wants to Replace Teamsters - IEEE Spectrum

Jul 19, 2017

LA, Long Beach ports will spend as much as $14 billion to clear air pollution

Online Edition

Declaring it the largest environmental investment ever undertaken by a cargo complex to wean itself off diesel dependency, Los Angeles and Long Beach port officials today unveiled their Clean Air Action Plan update – with a price tag that could reach $14 billion.

The latest installment in a decade-long effort to reduce pollution along the docks – which has already drastically reduced the toxic soup around the mammoth complex – aims to replace dirty-burning trucks and cargo-handling equipment with gear that produces zero, or almost zero, emissions.

Officials didn’t soft-sell the price, acknowledging that it will place “an enormous financial burden on the ports and goods-movement industry,” even if government helps foot the bill.

CAAP is the heart of the joint vow made by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia to make the nation’s busiest port complex a nearly no-pollutant zone by 2035.

If the promise is kept, the project will eliminate the region’s largest stationary source of pollution. Diesel emissions have been linked to higher rates of asthma and respiratory problems in communities around the ports – and Gov. Jerry Brown has staked his legacy on fighting climate control in the state.

Here’s how the long-awaited plan aims to work:

The strategy at a glance

  • The bottom line: CAAP would convert the port’s huge truck fleet from diesel to zero-emission fuels, develop and deploy green-burning gear to load and unload ships and assertively grow pollution-cutting programs for port-run vessels and other ships.
  • The timetable: Last fall’s draft version was broadly scrutinized and subsequently revised – and more review will come quickly. Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor commissions must approve the plan – and a vote is expected in November.
  • How you can get involved: A new public comment period for the plan extends through Sept. 18 and officials will be holding a public workshop on Aug. 30 at Banning’s Landing Community Center. For more info: www.cleanairactionplan.org.

The price – and how to pay it

  • The bottom line: Between $7 and $14 billion will be spent to rid the ports of machines now powered by fossil fuels.
  • The breakdown: As much as $8.2 billion will be spent to deploy zero-emissions big-rigs – and another $1.03 bullion to deploy near-zero emissions vehicles.
  • Cargo handling: Green-burning equipment will cost as much as $8.2 billion. The infrastructure to support it? Another $2.2 billion.
  • At berth: As much as $138 million will be spent to reduce emissions where ships are moored.
  • Ships: As much as $137 million would pay for incentive programs to reduce emissions produced by cargo craft visiting the ports.
  • R&D: $22 million would fund research, development and demonstration of new gear.
  • Who pays for it? Starting now, port officials are looking for support from the state and federal government.

Brown and the Democrat-dominated legislature are likely proponents. But the reception from Washington D.C. is likely to be a lot chillier. With Donald Trump in the White House, California can no longer rely on the administration for rubber-stamped support of its environmental goals.

Regardless, the plan makes it clear: “Outside of any state and federal funding … these costs will be borne by the ports themselves and private industry.”

How fast? Officials will need much of the funding within five to seven years to ensure there is the infrastructure in place to convert to zero emissions beyond that time.

Air – and how to clean it

  • The bottom line: The plan seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions and rid the hub of harmful diesel pollutants. Why? In the areas closest to the ports, asthma hospitalization rates among children – who are more sensitive to toxic air – are higher than other parts of Los Angeles. One study suggests freight pollution costs Long Beach and Riverside, where much of the container traffic winds up, about $18 million annually to address asthma and respiratory problems.
  • The breakdown: Targeted cuts in greenhouse gases are 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan doesn’t create goals to further reduce diesel particulate matter, sulfur oxides or nitrogen oxides beyond those made in its 2010 plan. Instead, it relies on new, clean-burning technology to further slash emissions.
  • The response: The move is likely to upset environmentalists who wanted to see more aggressive efforts to eliminate the most toxic of pollutants.

“The mayors laid out a bold vision for what they expect. What people are going to look at is, ‘does this plan live up to this vision?'” said Adrian Martinez, an attorney for Earthjustice. “You have to have a way to measure success otherwise it’s another policy plan that could be dismissed at the whim of future harbor commissions,” he said. “Emissions commitment are important.”

Trucks – and what they’ll run on

  • The bottom line: Since 2006, the clean ports program has focused on cleaning up diesel trucks, a major driver of harmful pollutants. The ports vow to intensify that effort.
  • The breakdown: Truckers must register their big rigs with the port to bring loads in and out. Next year, all new trucks that register must meet 2014 emissions standards. The standard will be upped to near-zero emission in 2023 for newly registered trucks. But that leaves thousands of trucks with older engines that belt out pollutants. There are about 16,000 trucks serving the port, and every year about five percent – or 800 trucks – in the fleet are new. So, the conversion to cleaner trucks will come slowly.
  • Penalties: In 2035, big rig drivers not meeting zero-emissions at the port must pay a fee.
  • Waiting: An appointment system for truckers aims to prevent drivers waiting hours for a load to arrive, their idling engines stirring up pollutants.
  • The loophole: Port officials earlier proposed an even more stringent regulation that would have imposed fees and restrictions on all trucks 10 years or older but had to nix the idea because of a concession the legislature gave the trucking industry.

The industry supported Brown’s $5 billion a year plan to fix crumbling transportation infrastructure by raising fees on vehicles and gas. In exchange, the trucking industry could keep dirtier burning trucks that have 800,000 miles – or up to 18 years of service – without having to worry about testing.

“Without the state moving forward on new requirements,” said Heather Tomley, director of environmental planning at Long Beach’s port, “we are not in a position to accelerate what they have done.”

On the dock – and at the shore

  • The bottom line: Ports will sink millions of dollars into testing and developing near-zero emissions technology with the hope of bringing to market a new generation of equipment to make the ports run faster and cleaner.
  • The breakdown: Officials aims to fill the docks with zero-emission terminal equipment by 2030, another goal of Gov. Brown.
  • Rail: Port officials hope to get half of all the containers coming in from Asia and other markets on rail, rather than on truck trailers, to ease congestion on freeways and eliminate some pollution.
  • Ships: The ports can’t control the fuel burned by ships that bring in cargo. But they will extend the vessel-speed reduction program, which keeps ships from burning excessive amounts of fuel. And ports will continue to encourage shippers to use plug-in technology while along the docks.

The response

  • From the ports: “A major part of our success is going to be getting as much funding as we can to support this transition,” said Long Beach’s Tomley, who helped put together the plan.
  • From shippers: “The CAAP puts all its eggs in one basket by unrealistically assuming that non-existent, non-automated, zero-emissions electric cargo handling equipment technology will be developed, tested, work as planned and be affordably mass produced to meet the ports’ rigid timelines,” John Mclauren, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association said in a released statement. “That’s a pretty big assumption with no margin for error and no Plan B if and when something goes wrong.”
  • From the trucking industry: “It is important to set goals that are reasonable and attainable, and that we don’t saddle an industry that has invested billions of dollars in clean technology with a mandate that is not viable commercially or operationally,” said Weston LaBar, Executive Director of the Harbor Trucking Association. “There are still many questions regarding zero emissions truck technology. It is important that the ports insure the final plan paves a path forward for affordable and efficient movement of cargo through the San Pedro Bay Complex first, and that sustainability is a by-product of a healthy supply-chain in the region.”

Online Edition

Declaring it the largest environmental investment ever undertaken by a cargo complex to wean itself off diesel dependency, Los Angeles and Long Beach port officials today unveiled their Clean Air Action Plan update – with a price tag that could reach $14 billion.

The latest installment in a decade-long effort to reduce pollution along the docks – which has already drastically reduced the toxic soup around the mammoth complex – aims to replace dirty-burning trucks and cargo-handling equipment with gear that produces zero, or almost zero, emissions.

Jun 07, 2012

U.S. agency is told Canada is diverting minimal cargo from American ports

Online Edition

The Canadian government and other officials have told the Federal Maritime Commission that over a period of 10 years, only 2.5 per cent of U.S.-bound cargo was imported via Canadian ports.

WASHINGTON — A commissioner on a U.S. agency probing whether Canadian ports on the West Coast are luring lucrative cargo business away from their American counterparts says the problem may be minimal.

The Canadian government and other officials have told the Federal Maritime Commission that over a period of 10 years, only 2.5 per cent of U.S.-bound cargo was imported via Canadian ports, the agency’s Rebecca Dye said Thursday.

Speaking at a Canadian American Business Council conference on China, Dye didn’t say when the commission would complete its investigation and deliver its findings to U.S. Congress.

But the matter has been a simmering trade irritant between the U.S. and Canada ever since a pair of senators from Washington state complained that Canadians are unfairly subsidizing the diversion of cargo ships away from their American competitors, particularly in Prince Rupert, B.C.

Andrew Mayer, an official at the Prince Rupert Port Authority also at the conference on Thursday, pointed out that Canadian officials hardly give cargo ships a free ride. While the U.S. taxes shippers, Canada charges them a user fee, he said.

“We charge them to help fund the maintenance of these ports, but we don’t have a tax,” he said.

He added that cost considerations aren’t a “significant component” in why overseas exporters choose a particular port.

“Their primary concerns are speed, reliability and efficiency ... shippers do not choose Prince Rupert because of costs,” he said.

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell urged the Federal Maritime Commission to launch the inquiry last fall. They soon had the support of several lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

In their letter to the agency, the senators pointed out that the U.S. Harbor Maintenance Tax is not collected at border crossings when cargo enters the country on trains from Canada after arriving in North America via Canadian ports. They suggested it should be.

Indeed, their complaints prompted some American lawmakers to mull over a US$140-per-container levy on cargo entering the United States after coming through B.C. ports.

Canadian opponents says such a levy amounts to a punishing tariff on every container entering the United States from B.C. ports.

The Federal Maritime Commission’s chairman, Richard Lidinsky, suggested last year that he was sympathetic to the concerns of American port authorities.

While Canadian and Mexican ports are free to compete with their U.S. counterparts for cargo, he said, “they should do so on a playing field that is not artificially tilted by governments’ policies.”

At the heart of the debate is the growing popularity of Prince Rupert, a $170 million port that opened four years ago with $60 million in subsidies from both the B.C. and federal governments.

The U.S. tax is levied, in part, to cover the cost of dredging port channels on the American West Coast. Dredging isn’t necessary in Prince Rupert’s deep channels, Mayer noted on Thursday, and Vancouver requires only minimal dredging.

There’s another advantage to Prince Rupert — cargo ships travelling from China arrive several days earlier at the port, and Vancouver, than they do to at U.S. ports on the West Coast.

That’s especially true of the port of Los Angeles after ships travel what’s known as a circular route across the Pacific Ocean and end up far closer to the Canadian destinations at the end of their treks.

Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, has said Prince Rupert was becoming a favoured port not just because it’s the closest of any West Coast port to Asia, but also because it has the lowest rail grade to U.S. centres such as Chicago and Memphis, and its terminals are not burdened by urban congestion.

The cargo dispute reared its head just as Canada and the U.S. were about to announce the Beyond the Border initiative, a sweeping agreement aimed at easing trade and bolstering security at the Canada-U.S. boundary.

“I have urged our staff to consider the many reasons, in addition to tax policy, that may motivate a shipper or ocean carrier to use a particular North American port,” Dye told the conference.

“In addition, I have urged the staff to keep in mind the progress the United States and Canada have made to implement the Beyond the Border.”

Online Edition

The Canadian government and other officials have told the Federal Maritime Commission that over a period of 10 years, only 2.5 per cent of U.S.-bound cargo was imported via Canadian ports.

WASHINGTON — A commissioner on a U.S. agency probing whether Canadian ports on the West Coast are luring lucrative cargo business away from their American counterparts says the problem may be minimal.

Jun 06, 2012

Chain of Greed: How Walmart’s Domestic Outsourcing Harms Workplace Rights of Warehouse Workers

Online Edition

Few U.S. corporations have attracted more intense scrutiny of their business and labor practices than Walmart. However, while poor working conditions and wage violations among the company’s retail employees have been documented and worker rights violations attributed to Walmart’s international suppliers well publicized, far less understood are the pervasive labor abuses that take place outside of Walmart’s stores but in its domestic supply chain, in service of its bottom line here in the U.S. These worker rights violations are largely the product of Walmart’s signature and aggressive practice of “outsourcing” elements of its warehousing, transportation, and goods-delivery systems to companies that, in turn, often further subcontract the work to still other entities or individuals.

These outsourced workers laboring on Walmart’s behalf toil at the bottom of a complex hierarchy of intermediaries and in alternative employment schemes that leave them vulnerable to significant worker rights abuses and unsure where to seek redress. Walmart sets the parameters for the working conditions in these facilities, sometimes directly by having managers onsite, and sometimes indirectly through monitoring suppliers’ operating costs and setting ever more stringent price demands. But when things go wrong, it’s the contractors that are blamed, while Walmart skirts responsibility for its actions and accountability for its influence over those engaged in its massive supply chain.

This report seeks to shed light on this shady side of outsourcing by profitable corporations like Walmart, and the devastating impact of the practice on U.S. workers. It is a case study of how domestic outsourcing, when not properly regulated by robust laws, and when used by aggressive cost-cutting corporate giants, squeezes all the players in the supply chain beyond their limits, ultimately inflicting severe pain on the subcontracted workforce. In the case of Walmart’s logistics systems, it is a story of low-paid and extremely dangerous warehouse work, with workers unloading and loading boxes, up to 200-pounds, from shipping containers on a piece rate system for days and hours on end.

But it is also an inspiring story of a diverse and talented workforce that is bravely organizing and risking retaliation by taking on Walmart and its contractors to fight for fair working conditions, and of determined state officials seeking to ensure that the labor and employment laws are strongly enforced to level the playing field for law-abiding employers. Focusing on the warehouse workers employed in Southern California and elsewhere who move Walmart goods across the U.S., this report seeks to promote a broader discussion about corporations’ decisions to contract-out dangerous, labor-intensive parts of their businesses to the lowest bidder, and the ill effects this can have on workers, their families, and communities.

As described below, greater transparency and accountability within these multi-layered hydra-like logistics chains are urgently needed. At a time when U.S. economic growth skews so heavily toward low-wage industries and jobs, it is crucial that the public and policymakers alike better understand and respond to the practices and strategies that are propelling this lopsided change. We hope that this report and the case study it highlights will contribute to this broader understanding.

Of special significance, the report details the following findings and conclusions:

Domestic outsourcing is on the rise across key U.S. industries:
Contracting out is becoming increasingly common in many of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing industries, including construction, day labor, janitorial and building services, home health care, warehousing and retail, agriculture, poultry and meat processing, high-tech, delivery, trucking, home-based work, and the public sectors. Even hotels have begun to outsource traditional functions, including cleaning services. Often relying on the use of temporary and staffing agencies, outsourcing in these industries has also resulted in comparatively lower wages for work similar to the jobs previously performed in-house.

Walmart squeezes supply-chain contractors and U.S. workers:
Walmart’s policy of enforcing ever-lower prices has serious implications for the working conditions throughout Walmart’s supply chain. Even manufacturing behemoths are not immune from the pressures Walmart can impose on their profit margins, and by extension, their employment practices. Walmart’s stated “Plus One” bargaining strategy, which requires that all suppliers and contractors reduce their price of goods, increase quality or increase speed of delivery every year, vividly exemplifies the pressure that squeezes contractors’ margins and encourages low-road employment behavior like cutting corners on safety and violating wage and hour laws.

Walmart’s outsourced logistics operations raise critical labor concerns:
As Walmart’s leadership once explained to Wall Street analysts, “The misconception is that we’re in the retail business, we’re in the distribution business.” While Walmart maintains a vast and sophisticated distribution system operated in-house, it also relies on some of the nation’s largest third-party providers to ship and store its goods, including Schneider National and Swift Transportation, which in turn contract with a complex web of temporary agencies to supply the warehouse workforce. In major logistics hubs around the U.S., from Southern California to Chicago to New Jersey, workers employed by outsourced Walmart logistics operations have raised allegations of unpaid wages, health and safety and other serious labor violations.

Labor violations are rampant in Southern California’s Inland Empire, which is a warehouse nerve center for Walmart goods.
Under the watchful eye of Walmart managers, the outsourced warehouse operations of Schneider Logistics and its temporary staffing firms (Rogers Premier and Impact Logistics) have produced rampant wage and overtime and health and safety violations that are the subject of a class action lawsuit. Indeed, evidence produced as a result of the lawsuit makes clear that Walmart is intimately involved in the daily operations of the Schneider operations, which solely move Walmart goods. This report, court documents and recent investigations by the California Labor Commissioner and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) reveal the breadth of labor abuses taking place in these warehouses. They include confusing “piece rate” pay schemes where workers are only paid for unloading and loading containers, not for other work performed, for working lengthy hours with no overtime pay, for illegal and falsified pay records, and for hazardous workplace conditions (especially excessive heat, pressure for speed, and unstable storage stacking). These conditions have also created a climate of fear among a largely Latino workforce that claimed labor violations and were subsequently threatened with termination, and a federal court ruling vindicating the workers who alleged retaliation.

Domestic outsourcing imposes an especially severe toll on Latino workers in Southern California and around the U.S.:
Latinos often represent a large segment of those industries where domestic outsourcing by major corporations is most prevalent. In addition, the same industries that implement contracting-out and employ vulnerable, often Latino, workers frequently also have the highest rates of workplace violations of core labor standards. A 2009 study of over 1800 low-wage workers in Los Angeles – nearly 1300 of them Latino – found that minimum wage violations affected 38.3 percent of the workers, and that an astounding 79.6 percent of Latino workers had suffered violation of their overtime pay rights in the week prior to the survey. Logistics companies are no exception. In the production, packaging and warehousing occupations reported in the Los Angeles survey, overtime violation rates reached 37.3 percent of workers, with meal break violations affecting 83.4 percent of these workers.

We should hold major corporations accountable for worker rights abuses that result from unfettered domestic outsourcing.
The challenge for policy makers and enforcement agencies is to use existing enforcement tools effectively to protect workers’ interests, while developing new models to hold these corporate entities accountable for the conditions they engender within the production and logistics pyramids they command. The report offers a combination of strategies that go a long way to: (1) enforce existing labor standards laws that hold multiple entities jointly responsible for any work performed in the business; (2) promote innovative state and federal laws and enforcement strategies to target contracting abuses; (3) secure agreement from Walmart and other supply chain controllers to adopt strong codes of conduct; and (4) document the scope of contracting-out and its impact on U.S. workers.

Online Edition

Article link
Nov 09, 2016

Long Beach and Los Angeles Ports Team Up With Maersk to Track Emissions and Energy Efficiency of Ships

Online Edition

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has teamed up with container shipping giant Maersk on a new project that aims to track vessel emissions and energy efficiency of ships calling at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

The project, which will span three years, builds on a $125 million investment by Maersk Line to upgrade 12 containerships as part of its “radical retrofit” program to reduce fuel consumption and increase capacity of vessels regularly calling at the ports.

The two ports are contributing a combined $1 million to install real-time tracking systems that represent an industry-leading application to pinpoint vessel emissions while ships are at sea and at berth.

“This project is a vivid example of the deep commitment to environmental sustainability that we have grown to expect from our goods movement partners, as we all work together to create a healthier planet,” said Port of Long Beach Interim CEO Duane Kenagy. “We’re pleased to be a part of this project, and we hope it will serve as a model to encourage even more progress and creativity in emissions reductions from ocean-going vessels.”

“Maersk Line’s extraordinary commitment to cleaner, more efficient vessel operations represents a quantum leap in the environmental progress of our entire industry,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We applaud Maersk Line for its leadership and innovation, and we are eager to do our part to advance fundamental change that will result in cleaner air for our surrounding communities and around the world.”

The project will continuously record how much fuel each engine uses in conjunction with speed, engine power, weather and other operational variables through use of mass flow meters and an interface to the on-board Integrated Control System to capture performance data. Information will be uploaded to Maersk Line servers via satellite, and each ship will be able to communicate in real-time with Maersk Line’s Global Vessel Performance Centre to increase operational efficiency.

“This is the equivalent of strapping a Fitbit onto a large container ship,” said Dr. Lee Kindberg, Director of Environment and Sustainability for Maersk Line. “We’ll be tracking vessel performance and emissions 24/7. This advances our ability to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants on a global scale.”

Under its “radical retrofit” program, Maersk Line upgraded vessels that already plug into shore power at the San Pedro Bay ports. The additional improvements include redesigning the bulbous bow of each vessel, replacing existing propellers with more efficient models, and “derating” the main engines to make them more efficient at lower speeds.

The retrofit program also involved raising the bridge of the ships to increase each vessel’s capacity from about 9,500 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) to about 11,000 TEUs. This allows Maersk Line to carry more containers per vessel while decreasing their environmental impact per container moved.

The energy efficiency makeover is expected to decrease each ship’s fuel consumption by more than 10 percent, saving an estimated 10,000 metric tons of fuel on an annual basis. This would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an estimated 31,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year and lead to similar reductions of diesel particulate matter (DPM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx). 

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are the two largest ports in the nation, first and second respectively, and combined are the ninth-largest port complex in the world.

Since 2007, Maersk Line has reduced GHG emissions associated with its vessel operations by 42 percent on a per container, per kilometer basis. The retrofits and TAP demonstration project with the San Pedro Bay ports will help Maersk Line reach its goal of a 60 percent reduction of CO2 and other pollutants by 2020.

 

Online Edition

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has teamed up with container shipping giant Maersk on a new project that aims to track vessel emissions and energy efficiency of ships calling at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

The project, which will span three years, builds on a $125 million investment by Maersk Line to upgrade 12 containerships as part of its “radical retrofit” program to reduce fuel consumption and increase capacity of vessels regularly calling at the ports.

May 25, 2012

ILA Agrees to Halt Slowdown, NYSA Says

Online Edition

 

A longshore labor dispute that produced three days of work slowdowns and long delays for trucks at Port of New York and New Jersey marine terminals apparently was settled Friday.

Joseph Curto, president of the New York Shipping Association, said the NYSA and International Longshoremen’s Association submitted the dispute to an industry arbitrator under their contract’s dispute resolution provision.

“This dispute was handled by that provision, and while an agreement is being finalized which addresses all elements of the dispute, I have received very strong assurances by the ILA that service in all facilities is being normalized,” Curto said Friday afternoon.

Curto wouldn’t discuss the nature of the dispute, but several other sources said it was triggered by the union’s displeasure at the firing of two ILA maintenance and repair workers at APM Terminals.

The slowdown and resulting delays aggravated truck traffic jams during the busy period before the Memorial Day weekend. At one point, drivers had to wait as long as six or seven hours outside terminals, said Dick Jones, executive director of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers. At midafternoon Friday, drivers were still reporting waits of as much as three hours.

 

 

Online Edition

 

A longshore labor dispute that produced three days of work slowdowns and long delays for trucks at Port of New York and New Jersey marine terminals apparently was settled Friday.

Joseph Curto, president of the New York Shipping Association, said the NYSA and International Longshoremen’s Association submitted the dispute to an industry arbitrator under their contract’s dispute resolution provision.

Jan 06, 2016

Assemblymember Frazier’s Statement on Governor’s Transportation Package in 2016 Budget

Online Edition

cid:image002.jpg@01D14876.089D6A90

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 6, 2016

CONTACT:

Ella Strain

916-319-2011

Ella.Strain@asm.ca.gov

 

ASSEMBLYMEMBER FRAZIER RELEASES BOLD TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PACKAGE TODAY

 

Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation, unveiled legislation to provide much-needed transportation funding for California. 

AB 1591 will raise over $7 billion annually and fund two major initiatives:  trade corridor improvements and road maintenance and rehabilitation. "California must invest in its trade corridors if we hope to develop and sustain economic vitality. Manufacturers and farmers want to be able to move their goods to market and AB 1591 will provide the investments we need to ensure that they can," stated Frazier.

AB 1591 further answers the challenge Governor Brown made last year when he called upon the Legislature to provide $5.9 billion annually to fix state highways. According to Frazier, “You can’t put out half a fire. The funding proposals developed over the past year do not begin to sufficiently address our highway and bridge maintenance needs. Failure to adequately fund deferred maintenance is short-sighted and will leave our highways congested in gridlock.”

Frazier spent the past seven months listening to the public, industry experts across the state, and his colleagues in order to develop a comprehensive plan to effectively tackle California’s transportation needs. AB 1591 looks to make these investments now, rather than costing us exponentially more in the long-run.

“Anyone who travels on California’s roads or rides our buses and trains can attest to the dire need for significant investment in our state’s infrastructure,” said Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). “I commend Assemblymember Frazier for his diligence in considering a wide variety of perspectives as he developed this proposal.”

The revenue generated in Frazier’s plan is a portfolio approach drawing equitably from multiple sources. Key components of the transportation funding package include:

  • Restoring revenue from weight fees imposed on large trucks to the State Highway Account. This revenue, nearly $1 billion, will be directed to improvements in the state's major freight corridors;
  • Ensuring additional revenues generated are used to address road and bridge maintenance, rehabilitation, and, as appropriate, increases in capacity;
  • Allocating cap and trade auction proceeds to transportation projects that ease congestion and therefore provide significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in trade corridors;
  • Imposing moderate increases in gas tax, diesel tax, and vehicle registration. The state's aging infrastructure is degrading at an increasingly rapid pace. These funds will ensure existing assets are protected;    
  • Repaying outstanding transportation loans. These loans were made at a time when the General Fund was in crisis. That is no longer the case. These funds need to be returned to the transportation purpose for which they were intended;
  • Increasing allocations to intercity rail and transit programs;
  • Ensuring all vehicle owners pay to support the transportation infrastructure by imposing a nominal surcharge on electric vehicles; and
  • Initiating proper oversight on highway expenditures.

 

To contact Assemblymember Jim Frazier please visit his website at www.asmdc.org/frazier or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411.

 

Follow Assemblymember Jim Frazier on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.

Online Edition

Article link