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San Pedro, California
If San Pedro is known for anything around the country, it has to be its cargo port. This area, which was once a city but later became an incorporated part of Los Angeles, shares with Wilmington the Port of Los Angeles, which is the country’s busiest shipping port when measured by the number of containers that pass through in both directions during any period of time.
San Pedro is the industrial and working-class eastern edge of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. To the west of the ports, rail stations, and trucking zones are rolling green hills navigated by winding roads that pass expensive housing in communities that go by the names Rolling Hills and Rancho Palos Verdes. Not far to the west of San Pedro is a golf course operated by a corporation run by a current candidate for United States President. North of San Pedro are the cities of Harbor City and Lomita. Long Beach shares the port with San Pedro, occupying the eastern portion. While San Pedro is all about the shipping and logistics, Long Beach has tourist destinations as well.
This port is one of the main entry points for cargo from Pacific Rim countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The device which you are currently using to access and read these words – be it a computer, smart phone, or tablet – was likely assembled in one of those countries and shipped to the United States inside a huge container aboard a massive cargo vessel. The container was likely then dropped off at the Port of Los Angeles. There, a large army of workers operating cranes, forklifts, trucks, and other equipment participated in an elaborate process of organizing the containers and loading them onto big rigs to be transported inland for final processing and distribution of the cargo to the consumer marketplace. In order to corral such a massive in- and out-flow of material, a sophisticated, high-tech logistical network is required. Each container has to be clearly identified by its point of origin, destination, and contents, and in a universally-recognizable means to prevent errors that disrupt the flow of commerce. Consumers have become accustomed to effortlessly placing an order for a product online and having it delivered extremely quickly, sometimes within two days of the order or fewer, and exactly as ordered. In response, manufacturers have developed methods of production and delivery to cater to this demand. A famous example, which is given names such as “Just In Time” inventory, minimizes warehousing of products by increasing the diameter of the pipeline, so to speak, meaning utilizing more and faster means of transportation between the point of manufacture and the point of consumption, decreasing the need for warehousing large amounts of finished products for an extended period of time while they wait to be ordered. Instead, the order goes further up the pipeline to where the product is assembled, labeled, and packaged quickly. Instead, they are warehoused only long enough to be sorted, inspected, and boxed before making the final leg of their journey to the customer on a delivery truck or postal vehicle. One particularly tough job in this rush-delivery economy is the warehouse order-picker. Employees are given a hand-held computer that orders them to run from aisle to aisle, from box to box, to complete an order within a set period of time. This kind of pressure to perform can lead to injuries that might cause an employee to slow down, resulting in termination. Employees who perform the hard work in the logistics and storage industry have rights. Our office is less than thirty miles from San Pedro. If you feel you have been treated unfairly or unlawfully by an employer, contact our office for a free consultation.