17 Dec A Remarkable Year at the Port of Long Beach: Infrastructure Improvements to Build on Successes
It’s been a year of records at the Port of Long Beach, and we’re thankful to all of our partners who have chosen us as their preferred gateway for their cargo into the U.S. market. We want you to know there is an even brighter future ahead.
The Port is poised to pass 7 million container units in the calendar year for only the third time in our 104-year history. November cargo volume grew 6.6 percent over the same month in 2014, enough for the Port’s second-busiest November ever. The good tidings also marked five months in a row of cargo gains in Long Beach, and follows the busiest third quarter in our history, when our container counts increased 14.8 percent compared to the same period last year.
Your industry has been a big part of our success. As you may know, footwear is one of our top 10 imported commodities, and business has expanded 3.9 percent since 2013 on the strength of trade growth with Southern and Southeast Asia.
I’ve been crisscrossing the globe in recent months, talking about our Long Beach value proposition, and how we offer the most direct route between Asia and the U.S. For example, a typical shipment via our Port from the Far East to Chicago can arrive as many as 11 days sooner than if you had chosen one of our East Coast competitors, saving you millions of dollars a year and getting your goods into the hands of consumers faster. This is especially critical during this all-important holiday shopping season.
We’re proud of our competitive advantage, but we want to make sure we stay ahead. That’s why we’re in the midst of a 10-year program investing more than $4 billion to build the Port of the Future.
This capital investment program includes a $1.5 billion bridge which will carry 15 percent of U.S. cargo imports and is tall enough for the newest generation of megaships to pass underneath. It also includes a $1.3 billion mega terminal — North America’s most automated and greenest — which, if it were a stand-alone port, would rank as the fourth-largest port in the Americas. Our third major focus is on-dock rail, and we are spending over $1 billion to expand from 30 percent to over 50 percent on-dock rail capacity, thereby significantly increasing speed to market while further improving air quality by eliminating more than a million truck trips from congested roadways.
I know we will continue to build on these successes together in 2016. I invite you to check out our annual State of the Port address next month to hear more about our commitment to you and our various business partners. Mark your calendars for the live web broadcast at 8 a.m. PST on Jan. 21 at www.polb.com/stateoftheport.
Thank you again for the role you’ve played in this remarkable year, and happy holidays from the Port of Long Beach.