Fowarder focus: LA’s long-awaited air cargo development
06 / 09 / 2023
Image: Michael Rosebrock/shutterstock
After much industry anticipation, Los Angeles World Airports is set to construct and implement its new Cargo Modernization Program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
This initiative is a welcome development, as forwarders know that LAX’s current cargo facilities are outdated and no longer compatible with industry standards.
The new programme will include improved airside access and aircraft parking, landside infrastructure such as roadway geometry, facility access and parking for vehicles and trucks, right-sized truck aprons, truck queuing, and a marshalling yard.
The facility will also include automation capable of greatly expediting processing to include throughput and sorting, expediting pickup and drop-off, and saving stakeholders time and money.
This modernisation programme will benefit the community, the country, and the overall supply chain.
The announcement encourages freight forwarders who use the airport to anticipate a new, streamlined facility capable of reducing truck waiting times and shipment delays.
Most welcome the news since forwarders are still hampered by excessive truck waiting times, despite lower cargo volumes than last year.
For the Los Angeles region, it will mean reduced noise and air pollution from trucks idling at the airport.
It will mean a more efficient and secure air cargo system for the country, which is critical to the global economy.
And for the overall supply chain, it will mean faster and cheaper transportation of goods, which will help to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Of course, there are some stakeholder concerns about the project.
Some trucking companies are worried about the impact of the new truck aprons and marshalling yard on their operations.
And some environmental groups are concerned about the potential for increased pollution from the new facilities.
However, the benefits of the Cargo Modernization Program far outweigh the concerns.
This project is essential for the future of LAX and the region. It will make LAX a more competitive airport, boost the economy, and improve the quality of life for everyone in the community.
The LAX Cargo Modernization Program will also exemplify how private partners working with a public airport can achieve mutual success.
However, there should be more federal funds coming from Washington.
Cargo areas of most major US airports have not received substantial improvements in close to fifty years when trucks and air cargo volumes were both smaller.
Airports deserve more from Capitol Hill than the paltry amount of money granted in last year’s national infrastructure legislation.
The need for more working funds is one of the reasons why forwarders continue to lobby Congress to promote airport cargo interests.
There will doubtless be upcoming community engagement hurdles and environmental impact studies to overcome, which may delay shovels digging into the ground, but overall, this project is an encouraging development.
All stakeholders, including the forwarding, airline, trucking, and shipper communities, should urge the Los Angeles World Airports to move forward with this critical project as quickly as possible.