As wildfires continue to impact California, officials from the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Port Police and Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA) expressed their gratitude to the CMA CGM Group for sending shipping containers and firefighting supplies to the Los Angeles Fire Department, as well as to the counties of Fresno and Madera.
LoVLA is an initiative launched by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in April to get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the region’s healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, LoVLA has coordinated more than 2.8 million pieces of PPE and supplies to organizations in need across the region. Since its establishment, LoVLA’s mission has expanded to support those affected by the unprecedented wildfires across the Western U.S. Through LoVLA, CMA CGM has supported these humanitarian relief efforts with donations of PPE and emergency supplies.
The CMA CGM initiative includes sending eight shipping containers, four of which have been transported to Los Angeles Fire Department for staging and storage of firefighting equipment. The other four containers were transported to San Luis Obispo County and loaded with firefighting recovery supplies that CMA CGM purchased from agricultural retailer Farm Supply Company. The retailer donated some product and other merchandise at a reduced price in recognition of the effort.
“We find ourselves in unprecedented times, battling both a pandemic and wildfires up and down the state of California,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, who also serves as the City of Los Angeles’ Chief Logistics Officer. “We are grateful to CMA CGM for their generosity and support. Their actions are a great example of how the private sector can step in to make a difference during this challenging time.”
“We sincerely thank and appreciate CMA CGM for this donation,” said Deputy Executive Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management Tom Gazsi. “The Los Angeles Port Police is privileged to manage the supply coordination efforts and assist our fellow public safety agencies in the Central Valley during this difficult wildfire season.”
“The devastating effects of the fires, in addition to the impacts of COVID-19, have disrupted the lives of so many Californians,” said CMA CGM America President Ed Aldridge. “We are very pleased to be able to provide much-needed firefighting supplies to the heroic firefighters on the frontlines and shipping containers for storage and staging. This is a challenging time for all and with our presence in California, it was important for us at CMA CGM to help however we can.”
The supply-loaded CMA CGM containers arrived in Fresno and were received by representatives from the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), who will oversee distribution of the supplies along with Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Melissa Cregan, Public Works and Planning Director Steven White and Sheriff-Coroner Margaret Mims. Once unloaded, the containers will be used by Fresno and Madera Counties to store fire equipment, stow belongings of those who lost homes in the fires, and to house water stock tanks, feed for displaced livestock, horses and other animals.
Much-needed fire crew supplies donated by CMA CGM included work gloves, hard hats, boots, coveralls and safety goggles, in addition to chainsaws for both firefighting and recovery efforts. Animal feed, feeding bowls and hay were also provided to assist with farm animals.
“Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 8,300 wildfires in the state, burning more than four million acres, which is overwhelming communities and first responder resources,” said Chief Mark Pazin from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “Every donation to help fight these wildfires is sincerely appreciated and greatly needed.”
This contribution is not the first emergency supply donation for the CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics. The company donated 200,000 respirator masks to LoVLA earlier this year, 75,000 of which were donated to the United Farm Workers of America last month. Both donations were secured and coordinated through LoVLA.
The nation’s top ocean-freight carrier, CMA CGM serves 19 U.S. ports with 34 services and 93 weekly port calls, including the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland. In addition, the Group employs more than 12,000 team members across the U.S. and is also a leading provider of logistics services through its subsidiary CEVA Logistics. Another Group subsidiary, American President Lines (APL), operates a fleet of U.S.-flagged vessels and supports U.S. territories and American military stationed around the world.
The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.