Online Bidding for Construction Projects: Port of Los Angeles Sets a New Standard

Written by Sample Hubspot User

Port of Los Angeles



The Port of Los Angeles (Port) is an extensive complex occupying 7,500 acres of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront. Operating as a department of the City of Los Angeles, incoming shipments represent 20% of all cargo entering the United States. The Port has 27 cargo terminals, 86 container cranes, 8 container terminals, and 113 miles of on-dock rail. Construction projects for the container terminal include demolishing structures, rebuilding portions of the wharf, resurfacing pavement, constructing terminal operator buildings, installing utilities, and handling community beautification projects. Because of the massive size of its operations, the Port is viewed as a small city with construction projects ranging from $50 to $200 million annually.

Construction Bids Conducted

Until three years ago, the Port advertised its opportunities online. However, while this initial part of the process was done virtually, all subsequent processes and submissions were completed manually. The results were a paper-intensive outcome. Brian Chuc, Harbor Engineer of the Construction Division, was part of the initial RFP process and evaluation team that ultimately selected the PB System™.

A key factor in finalizing a selection was that the chosen system be used successfully in other jurisdictions. The evaluation team visited government agencies with similar types of operational needs and construction projects. By choosing PlanetBids, which is used extensively across California, the contracting community was already very familiar with and adept at submitting bids, via the system.


Change can be challenging to implement in any large organization. However, the move to an online eProcurement system was welcomed by the Port employees. Brian notes, “As we began to transition to the new system, our team was offered the opportunity to access a demo site where we could perform rehearsal projects using the system. By practicing with fictitious bids, and the quick responsiveness to our questions from the PlanetBids’ customer service team, it built our confidence and made going live much easier.”


Shortly after initiating its first online bids, the Port eliminated paper submittals and increased efficiencies within the bid process. The system automatically performs math calculations for submitted bids, resulting in less opportunity for human error. Since moving online, the Port expects to have fewer rebids due to the elimination of mathematical errors.

Working Virtually

“No matter where we are working from – the office or home – we can easily access the system. During the COVID-19 pandemic, with many em ployees working from home offices, the virtual system has been crucial to keeping projects moving.

Contractors have also expressed appreciation for a system that can take all bids documents virtually, with little need for human contact during the bid submittal process.”

Brian Chuc, Harbor Engineer Port of Los Angeles

Power in Numbers

PB System™ has hundreds of clients across the nation. Through its sophisticated programming and collaboration among agencies, it offers the unique benefits of shared vendor databases, specification library, and coordination with other systems for MBE/WBE certifications, eBonding, insurance tracking, and contractor compliance programs.

Chosen PB System™ Solutions

  • Vendor Management is the core of the PB System™ suite of modules. It offers a configurable and intuitive registration process to ensure that vendor registrations are complete and unique, avoiding duplicate records. Instantly gain access to vendor records, run advanced searches on multiple sets of vendor data, perform real-time verification of provided information (i.e., certifications and licenses) against third party databases, generate comprehensive reports with visual charts, and broadcast messages to selected vendors.
  • Bid Management is the most complete web-based system on the market today. Procurement professionals can quickly manage the process of issuing, monitoring, conducting evaluations, and awarding formal and informal bids. More importantly, the PB System™ can handle construction and public works projects – a feature unique to the eProcurement industry. Vendors can interactively search, view, and respond to bid opportunities securely over the Internet.
  • Business Certification / Prequalification Management allows an organization to manage their certification programs such as Small Business Enterprise, Minority, or Diversity as well as Contractor Pre-qualification(s). Agencies can manage, maintain, and retrieve up-to-date information on vendor certifications and prequalifications. Registered vendors have access to viewing certified/prequalified vendors for potential subcontracting opportunities.

Contact us to schedule a free demo to see how the PB system can help you