More than a year and a half after an 8-day strike by clerical workers from a local office of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and just weeks shy of the first anniversary of the 24-hour Teamster-backed truck driver strike, the Port of Long Beach named Jon W. Slangerup as the new Chief Executive. Slangerup was unanimously named to the position in June 2014 by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
The Port employs almost 500 workers, has a budget of nearly $900 million, and handled about $180 billion in trade last year—Slangerup’s new position is no walk in the park. But he’s up for the task, with 34 years of corporate leadership experience, during the past 20 of which he’s served as a president, CEO and/or director of both public and private companies.
Slangerup is seen as “an extremely capable leader, proven team-builder and expert at managing a world-class organization,” Harbor Commission President Doug Drummond is quoted as saying.
As he begins his tenure, Slangerup is looking ahead to several prevalent issues, all of which affect the smooth operation of the Port. A year-long delay, attributed to design and compliance issues, is expected in replacing the Gerald Desmond Bridge; another strike is possible as 20,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association workers re-negotiate an expired labor agreement; Slangerup also faces pressure to accommodate the pending expansion of the Panama Canal—all in addition to daily oversight of the Port.
With his work based in facilitating smooth operations in the Port, Slangerup summarized the work this way: “Many of the projects… are to mitigate congestion issues,” he said in an interview with Transport Topics. “Our goal is to make the logistics operations on port property run as smoothly as possible, with a highly integrated truck and rail capability. If we do it well, the ability of trucking companies to speed their products in and out of the port will be improved.”