APM Terminals automation permit approved

Pier 400 APM Terminals has secured a permit to modernise Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo: APM Terminals

APM Terminals said it "welcomes" a decision by the Los Angeles Harbor Commission to deny a International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) appeal against a permit application for it to carry out modernisation work to introduce driverless electric cargo trucks at the Port of Los Angeles’ Pier 400.

The decision follows a lengthy battle between APM and the ILWU, which saw the latter argue that approval of the permit would result in job losses at the port, and commissioners twice delay a decision on the permit. APM Terminals told Port Strategy the permit has now been approved, enabling it to go ahead with its plan for Pier 400.

"APM Terminals welcomes the decision of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission to affirm the decision of the Port of Los Angeles Executive Director and Staff that the permit needed to utilize electric, clean-air equipment at Pier 400 furthers the goals of the Port Master Plan," said Wim Lagaay, president & CEO of APM Terminals North America.

He added: "By continuing to invest in the Port of Los Angeles infrastructure and productivity, and working closely with the ILWU, we will be able to remain competitive, creating new highly-skilled jobs and business, and driving new economic growth for the Southern California port community while meeting the emissions requirements of the Clean Air Action Plan almost a decade before the regulations require."

Commissioners first voted to postpone the permit to build landside infrastructure to operate driverless battery-electric powered equipment in March, after ILWU Local 13, which represents dock workers at APM, voiced its concern that introducing electric automated equipment would displace workers. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti offered to mediate the dispute during a 28-day consideration period, which was then extended in April when Mr Garcetti requested more time to negotiate a deal between APM Terminals and the ILWU.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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