Port of Long Beach Approves $829 Million Budget
In a major bid to invest in capital improvements, as well as other developments at the port, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved an $829 million budget for the Port of Long Beach (POLB) over the next fiscal year.
Starting October 1, the budget anticipates a 6.1 percent increase in operating revenue over the current fiscal year’s income, earmarking $555 million for capital investments, including the port’s major terminal redevelopment and bridge replacement projects.
The budget also includes funds for planning activities for the port’s “Energy Island” concept of enhancing energy security and sustainability, while ongoing projects occur, as part of the critical supply chain optimization efforts to boost efficiency at the San Pedro Bay ports.
One of the POLB’s major infrastructural projects is the development of the Pier B Rail Yard—tagged as the most critical facility in the port’s rail master plan,—aimed at improving the port’s access to the national rail grid.
Key Pier B project components include realigning adjacent streets to accommodate new yard tracks; constructing approximately 80,000 feet of track; designing classification yard facilities; the possible construction of a “near dock” Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF); and conducting feasibility studies, alternative analysis and preliminary engineering for potential grade separations.
SOLVING INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES CALLS FOR “THINKING OUTSIDE THE DOCKS”
By 2020, the port expects its share of container traffic to increase 500 percent over 2004. To complement its proposed plan to improve efficiency, the port says it will cooperate with the neighboring Port of Los Angeles to jointly develop strategies to address congestion issues – an effort that POLB Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Noel Hacegaba calls “thinking outside the docks.”
Resolving chronic congestion and infrastructural issues has taken center stage at major U.S. ports with the recently-resolved strike action at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, impacting business at all levels across the country.
The proposed upgrades for the Port of Long Beach “may be able to quell congestion and return trading activities to normal,” says Doug Drummond, POLB Harbor Commission president.
“Our goal is to build upon the success of the Port of Long Beach by attracting new trade, and with that, new jobs, to Long Beach and the region,” he says. “We are moving forward with important improvements that will help this community, by building a greener, more efficient Port of Long Beach.”