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Pepperdine Graziadio Students Return to the Port of Los Angeles

Students at Port of LA

On Thursday, November 2, 2023, students from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School returned to the Port of Los Angeles for the 10th consecutive year. This long-standing tradition, led by Dr. Sean Jasso (MBA ‘00), professor of economics, offers students a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the intricate dynamics of globalization through an immersive experience at TraPac, one of the world's leading automated container terminals. Guided by the expertise of Bill Schopp (MBA ’90), director of marine operations at TraPac and a graduate of the Part-Time MBA program at the Graziadio Business School, students explored the advanced operations of this global hub.

The visit began with an up-close view from the dock, offering students a direct perspective as they observed the intricacies of cargo loading and unloading alongside fully automated carriers. Viewing two cargo ships, the Pepperine team experienced the beginning and end of the global supply chain live. Students gained valuable insights about the company’s operations from a comprehensive briefing on TraPac's strategic investments in expanding terminal infrastructure and the company's initiatives to reduce pollution. They also learned about the multifaceted public policy challenges faced by a container shipping business, such as negotiating with longshore workers, navigating California's mandatory environmental sustainability targets, and contemplating the future trajectory of market globalization.

This year's visit was not just a routine annual excursion; it marked a decade of tradition for Pepperdine Graziadio students. Spearheaded by Dr. Jasso, the visit has evolved into an integral component of the Graziadio Business School experience. The Port of Los Angeles serves as an invaluable classroom, bridging theory and practice for Graziadio students across various programs.