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Port of Long Beach allocates US$760m for FY 2025, wins US$283m grant

The fully automated Long Beach Container Terminal, shown here on Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2024, occupies about one third of the Port of Long Beach.

Posted on June 19, 2024

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approves 19.5% higher budget to bankroll projects like Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a US$760 million budget for the Port of Long Beach for the 2025 fiscal year, which is 19.5% higher than the budget adopted last year. Later this year, the budget will be sent for approval to the Long Beach City Council.

The increase is largely due to infrastructure projects like the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, which breaks ground this year, and the proposed Pier Wind. If approved, Pier Wind would be the nation’s largest facility specifically designed to assemble offshore wind turbines.

It also includes a record US$25.8 million transfer to the City’s Tidelands Operating Fund, which supports quality-of-life projects along Long Beach’s 7-mile coastline that have improved shoreline safety, cleanliness, water quality, facilities and other amenities.

Also included in the budget is approximately US$25 million in Clean Truck Fund subsidies to support the transition of the heavy-duty truck fleet to zero emissions. The Port of Long Beach has twin goals of a zero-emissions cargo-handling fleet by 2030 and zero-emissions trucking by 2035. Additionally, during the Board’s action, the amount allocated for the Community Sponsorship Programme was increased from US$2 million to US$3 million.

Operating revenue is estimated to be 6.8% higher than last year’s budget.

“We are optimistic about the year ahead and this spending plan builds our competitive advantages for the green future,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero.

“Because trade, construction and tourism support 51,000 jobs in Long Beach – or one in five jobs – it’s important we stay focused on attracting business, building for the future and moving cargo sustainably,” said Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr. “This budget advances these goals by leveraging our stable financial strength as a top gateway for global commerce.”

America’s Green Gateway

Next year’s proposed capital budget totals US$368.3 million, 47.2% higher than the prior year. Of the sum, US$204.9 million is for the Pier B project, also known as ‘America’s Green Gateway’, which is scheduled to break ground this summer.

Pier B will shift more cargo to “on-dock rail,” where containers are taken to and from marine terminals by trains. Moving cargo by on-dock rail is cleaner and more efficient, as it reduces truck traffic. No cargo trucks would visit the facility.

The port has won US$283 million from the federal government’s Mega Grant Programme to assist in building the US$1.567 billion project, which is the centrepiece of the port’s on-dock rail construction improvements.

To date, the port has secured more than US$640 million in grant funding for Pier B, including US$105 million from the federal government and a grant of US$158 million from the Port and Freight Infrastructure Programme announced last year by the California State Transportation Agency  (CalSTA).

The port continues to seek funding partners for the project.

Construction is expected to begin next year. The new facility aims to more than double the size of the existing Pier B rail yard from 82 acres to 171 acres and more than triple the volume of on-dock rail cargo the port can handle annually, from 1.5 million TEU to 4.7 million TEU. The yard will also feature a depot for fueling and servicing up to 30 locomotives at the same time and a full-service staging area to assemble and break down trains up to 10,000 feet long.


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