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News Release
FOR RELEASE - February 8, 2021
Contact: Jen Wilk, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 254-7098

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

Ports to Address Congress on COVID Impacts – Calling for More Testing, Vaccinations & Funding

Ports have faced unpredictable container volumes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Mario Cordero, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Long Beach, and Chairman of the Board of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) will testify before Congress tomorrow, February 9, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

Speaking before the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation, Cordero will outline the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. seaports. (Link to full testimony)

In his written testimony, Cordero discusses the challenges America’s ports have faced due to unpredictable container volumes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Each port has been impacted differently. For every port like the Port of Long Beach that experienced surges in cargo over the course of the year, there is a port that saw declines with little recovery.” By the end of 2020 commercial cargo volumes had declined across the industry, with total waterborne trade volume down 4.8% compared to the prior year, while the value of trade dropped by 11.3% totaling nearly $200 billion.”

In his statement, Cordero urges Congress to:

  • Prioritize vaccination and provide more testing for port workers and other transportation system personnel.
  • Fund the Maritime Transportation System Emergency Relief Program to help ports mitigate COVID-19 impacts and protect workers.
  • Invest in the nation’s trade infrastructure to power the economic recovery.
  • Reevaluate harmful trade practices.

    About AAPA
    Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas. According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2016 totaled 3.49 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.01 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.71 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$941 billion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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