By Jodi Summers

Kudos to the Port of Long Beach which is growing and greening in a big way. The Port has landed the largest deal of its kind for any U.S. seaport The Port of L.B. has inked a 40-year, $4.6-billion lease with Orient Overseas Container Line for the Middle Harbor property. Hooray for the SoCal economy > the Middle Harbor terminal is projected to generate more than 14,000 new, permanent jobs throughout Southern California by 2020.

And bravo to the Port of L.B. for investing $1.2-billion to develop the new 300-acre-plus Middle Harbor terminal. The lease would secure a tenant for the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, which combines Pier F and E into one state-of-the-art container terminal.

According to Long Beach Harbor Commission president Susan E. Anderson Wise, “This proposed agreement will enable the Port of Long Beach to maintain its competitive edge while bringing many benefits to the community.”

The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project will combine two aging shipping terminals into one modern terminal which doubles the existing capacity. The project will utilize the most advanced cargo-handling technology in the world. The nine-year, $1.2 billion project will upgrade wharfs, water access and storage area; as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard.

“It will also be the greenest terminal in North America, cutting air pollution in half through the use of more on-dock rail, electrified cargo handling equipment and shore power, which allows vessels to draw electricity from a landside utility when docked rather than diesel-powered auxiliary engines,” affirms Anderson Wise.


And in signs of an economic comeback, long-term tenants, OOCL and LBCT will invest approximately $500 million in the latest cargo-handling equipment. FYI, LBCT ~ a.k.a. Long Beach Container Terminal Inc. ~ is a marine terminal full service container facility that has occupied Pier F since 1986.

OOCL is an ideal client. Their goal is, “To be the best and most innovative international container transport and logistics service provider; providing a Vital Link to world trade and creating value for our customers, employees, shareholders and partners.”

OOCL ships have a near 100% participation in the Port’s Green Flag Program, which provides rebates to vessel operators that slow down in and near the Port to cut down on air pollution.

The Port of L.B. Green Flag Program is a voluntary vessel speed reduction initiative that rewards vessel operators for slowing down to 12 knots or less within 40 nautical miles (nm) of Point Fermin (near the entrance to the Harbor).

Ships emit less when they travel more slowly > thus the program has been highly successful in reducing smog-forming emissions and diesel particulates from ships. In 2009, more than 90% of vessels participated in the program, slowing their ships in the 20 nautical mile zone. Even more impressive, more than 70% of incoming vessels to the POLB have decelerated within the 40 nm zone.

In return for their participation vessel operators can earn dockage rate reductions during most of the calendar year The Port will award about $2.5 million in dockage savings in 2010; and anticipates that 2011 awards will total in the $4 million range.


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  1. Wherever you have a new influx of capital from the energy industry, the industrial sector is sure to be in demand, and value add opportunities should be present. The influx of capital and demand in this industry is quick and dramatic, especially in areas where it hasn’t been before. Several new shale explorations across the country are creating this demand driver.

  2. On July 7th, more than 120 truck drivers launched a strike alleging widespread workplace violations against three harbor-area firms that haul freight from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

    The truckers argue that they are improperly classified as independent contractors, leaving them with fewer workplace protections and lower pay than if they were company employees.

    The trucking companies have blamed the protests on “outside interests” that want to unionize the drivers.

    It is the fourth such protest in the last year. However, unlike previous strikes, drivers have not set an end date for the job action.

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