Based in Long Beach, California, Bill Mongelluzzo is the JOC’s senior editor covering the West Coast. He is responsible for coverage of the trans-Pacific trades, West Coast labor issues, harbor trucking, West Coast ports, and marine terminal productivity for JOC.com, The Journal of Commerce magazine, and JOC Events, and chairs the annual Port Performance North America Conference. Mongelluzzo joined The Journal of Commerce in 1980 as a New Orleans correspondent. He moved to Long Beach in 1985 and opened the Los Angeles-Long Beach bureau. He served as maritime editor of The Journal of Commerce in New York in 1992-1993, before returning to Southern California. Mongelluzzo began his journalism career in 1972 as a reporter with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri and a master’s in history from the University of New Orleans.
The decline in US imports from China that started in 2018 accelerated in the first half of 2020 as the US-China trade war and COVID-19 took a toll on trade between the two countries. The main beneficiaries of China’s loss of market share of US imports have been countries in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, and, to a lesser extent, India. But as shippers who shifted their sourcing have discovered, matching China’s sophisticated labor force, world-class inland and port infrastructure, and shear might aren’t easy to replicate. The result has been supply chain challenges ranging from equipment shortages, transshipment issues, and COVID-related labor disruption — and a rapid recovery in China-sourced imports in the second half of 2020. Daniel Krassenstein, global supply chain director for packaging manufacturer Procon Pacific, has experienced these challenges firsthand while overseeing a sourcing shift from China to South and Southeast Asia over the past several years. In this one-on-one discussion, Daniel will analyze the opportunities and pitfalls companies face in deciding whether to shift or at least diversify their sourcing away from China.
Exporters faced a litany of disruptive issues in 2020, as demand for imports and a wide gap in freight rates on the inbound vs. outbound leg created equipment shortages in the interior and a fight for capacity. Even when agricultural and other exporters in the US interior could find their way to the West Coast, congestion and tight capacity meant cargo often didn’t make the ship on which it was booked. Situations like these call for creative, and in some cases, unprecedented, solutions to ensure outbound shipments reached their destination. For the Anderson Cos. that meant changing routing to the East or Gulf Coast on the fly when it was evident that a carrier couldn’t commit to a booking made through Los Angeles-Long Beach. In this session, April Zobel, export traffic manager at The Andersons, will sit down with JOC senior editor Bill Mongelluzzo to discuss the unique challenges exporters faced in 2020, the creative solutions April and her team worked to ensure fluidity, and how the landscape has changed, perhaps forever.