17 Nov FTDC 2015 Conference a Success in Long Beach ‘Port of the Future’ Showcased for Footwear Execs
Thank you for coming to Long Beach for FDRA’s annual Footwear Traffic Distribution and Customs conference in October. It was a pleasure to welcome more than 150 attendees to our beautiful city and its downtown conference facilities, attractions and restaurants – all adjacent to the Port of Long Beach.
Footwear is one of our top 10 imported commodities at the Port of Long Beach and it continues to grow. We greatly appreciate your business and for choosing Long Beach as your preferred gateway. As you well know, most imported footwear is manufactured in Asia and shipped into our country through Long Beach. Today, we have the seaport facilities to handle the biggest ships coming to the U.S., and our size and scale gives importers like you the greatest flexibility in scheduling your shipments.
However, 2015 was a year of overcoming operational challenges to ultimately achieve record growth at the Port of Long Beach. This year, my colleagues and I traveled throughout America, Europe and Asia to visit with hundreds of stakeholders and share specific actions we have taken and continue to pursue to ensure that all of you, our valued customers, receive the most reliable service possible going forward. I am pleased that during the recent conference in Long Beach, many of you experienced the exciting transformation taking place at our Port.
Because of you, we are coming off the best third quarter in our 104-year history. With the dollar remaining strong, our fourth quarter is solid and we expect to finish the year with about 5 percent growth in cargo volumes. For further details, please read the presentation given by our Chief Commercial Officer, Noel Hacegaba, at the October FTDC Conference: http://fdra.org/ftdc2015/.
To continue to earn your business and ensure that you receive ever-improving service, the Port of Long Beach is in the midst of a $4 billion capital improvement program, upgrading our terminals, bridges, roadways, waterways and rail capacity. It is the biggest port infrastructure program in the nation with more than $550 million budgeted this year alone. We are proud of the upcoming Phase One opening of the $1.3 billion Middle Harbor container terminal; the $1.5 billion replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge; our $1 billion investment in expanded on-dock rail capacity; and a host of other critical operational, environmental and sustainability projects.
Together, we are building the Port of the Future and sincerely thank you for entrusting your business to us. We look forward to working with you to pursue the opportunities ahead and share a prosperous future.