Guest editorial: Port of Hueneme is sailing into the future — come join us

·3 min read

Today we find ourselves in an economic supply chain pickle as the bigger ports in the United States are finding it challenging to keep up with consumer demand for shipment of goods, which is at an all-time high.

This unprecedented situation which has prompted political action from our State Senators, the Governor, and the President, sheds light to the importance of your local economic engine — the Port of Hueneme. The spotlight is on us as the uncongested port on the U.S. West Coast to make a difference and we have done just that. Our agricultural exporters could not catch a ship at the congested ports, but many found their way here which explains why our export volumes grew by 219% in just the last three months. Our imports are up 135% during the same period and all this growth without increases in congestion.

How do we do this? Cargo comes to the port, then it heads outside the gate for inspections and processing to several local private off-dock businesses who distribute the cargo, keeping the port congestion free. Visit www.portofhueneme.org to learn about the political initiatives and how your port has been designated to help the nation in a time of crisis.

As we help diffuse the severe congestion and product shortages happening in our state, we want to reinforce our commitment to you, our partner, our community. We strive to enable social, economic, and environmental equity by leveraging the port’s resources and customer relationships to create positive change for the residents of our county.

Your port has not only been serving as a relief valve for produce imports and exports, we have also assisted 38,000 families locally who have benefited from our community food distributions. We have been able to dock vessels which are in turn shipping our local products to their respective markets around the world. At Port of Hueneme, we are very proud to serve the American people and, most importantly, the working families whose livelihoods depend on stocked shelves at supermarkets, mom and pop coffee shops, as well as the truck drivers, first responders and essential workers that make it all happen.

As emissions regulations in California call for “First in the World” reduction guidelines for ships, your port is already at work readily connecting the vessels to electrical power, making them zero emission at birth. We are monitoring local air quality to ensure we have community specific data we can rely on and share with you. Our vision is we sail into the future of zero emissions and decarbonization and invite you to join us. The California Energy Commission has granted us $200,000 to build the port’s blueprint to a full zero emissions future and we will be asking the community for feedback on our future efforts to decarbonize.

As part of this endeavor, I am pleased to report that our Board of Harbor Commissioners took bold action at our Nov. 15 board meeting and adopted a resolution setting a goal of decarbonization. This posted on our website.

Now we invite you to join us on as we navigate through uncharted territory in supply chain logistics while advancing initiatives for social and environmental stewardship and equity. Without ships waiting in anchor off our coast, and freshly replenished beaches through our dredging projects, I extend this invitation. Email mrodriguez@portofh.org with your name and contact information and together, we can become diesel free and create a stronger economy.

Jason T. Hodge is the Oxnard Harbor District President.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Guest editorial: Port of Hueneme is sailing into the future — come join us

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