The Port of Hueneme benefitted from recent closures at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Port of Hueneme President Jess Herrera said.
Closures at the ports snarled traffic of cargo ships and left dozens of cargo ships sitting for days as they waited to be unloaded. Herrera said some traffic from Los Angeles and Long Beach was diverted to Port Hueneme.
“Luckily, in our case, the Port of Hueneme handled a lot of cargo that was diverted from the ports of LA/Long Beach,” Herrera said at a Nov. 12 breakfast meeting of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce. “We were working around the clock to accommodate some of that cargo, and our labor did a great job. They stepped up to it.”
Some of those businesses are still customers of the Port of Hueneme, he said.
Herrera also responded to the concerns of a local businessman who said the labor-related closures at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports hurt his business.
“We can’t do anything about it,” Herrera said. “Because that’s a labor and management issue that comes up.”
Herrera noted that the Port of Hueneme receives more bananas than any other good — importing 655,000 tons of bananas last year. Fresh fruit producer Del Monte even has a banana handling facility at the port.
“It’s enough bananas to go around the world 12 and one-half times,” Herrera said.
Automobiles are the port’s biggest revenue source. The port set a new record by importing and exporting 321,000 cars last year.
Herrera said the port imports and exports about 880 cars per day, 6,157 cars per week, and 24,631 cars per month. The port even exported its one millionth Honda in 2012.
“Really we only have like 8,000 parking spaces on the port, so it’s an amazing juggling act to keep these cars coming and going,” Herrera said. “The wonderful thing about automobiles is they’re very good for revenue and they’re also labor intensive and they provide many, many jobs.
• Contact Philip Joens at [email protected].