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Port of Long Beach channel deepening project gets green light from US government

President of the United State, Joe Biden signed into law the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, the biennial legislation authorising federal flood control, navigation and ecosystem improvements that include the Port of Long Beach Channel Deepening Project.

“We are grateful to members of the House and Senate and the Army Corps of Engineers who championed this bill, the many lawmakers from both parties who voted for it and President Biden,” said board of harbor commissioners president, Sharon L. Weissman, adding that the federal support shows how important international trade through the Port of Long Beach is to the national economy.

The Californian port’s Channel Deepening Project, which was signed on 23 December, is one of only five navigation projects nationwide that met the goals of the Corps’ planning process to make the cut for construction authorisation under the new water resources law.

According to the Port of Long Beach, this project has been in the works for more than eight years and is an essential component of the Port’s Master Plan.

Key elements include deepening the Long Beach Approach Channel from 23 to 24 meters, easing turning bends in the Main Channel to deepen a wider area to 23 feet, deepening parts of the West Basin from 15 to 16 feet, constructing an approach channel and turning basin to Pier J South with a depth of 16 feet, improving the breakwaters at the entrance to Pier J, and depositing dredged material in nearshore sites for reuse or in federally approved ocean disposal sites.

The port noted that the project’s operational benefits include more room for the largest tankers and container vessels to transit the harbor and fewer delays related to tidal flows.

Deeper, wider channels also reduce the need for large vessels to transfer liquid bulk cargo or containers to smaller vessels before entering the harbor. The process, known as lightering, ensures large ships have the underkeel clearance they need to move through the harbor as it is currently configured.

Furthermore, environmental benefits include lower fuel consumption because ships will be able to maneuver more efficiently through the harbor. Burning less fuel reduces vessel pollution – emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.

The port is sharing the cost of the US$200 million project with the Corps, whose responsibilities include building and maintaining the nation’s waterways. Setting the stage for congressional authorisation, the Corps issued a record of decision in July 2022 endorsing the project based on multiyear environmental and cost-benefit studies of the project.

Additionally, the Corps concluded deepening and widening channels in the harbor would lead to improved vessel navigation, safety, and national economic benefits valued at more than US$15 million annually. In September, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners certified the project’s companion environmental impact report.

Construction is projected to start in 2027 and is expected to take approximately three years.

Source: Container News


Port of New York and New Jersey overtakes San Pedro Bay giants for third consecutive month

Port of New York and New Jersey is the busiest container port in the United States for the third month in a row, handling 18.9% more boxes in October 2022 over pre-pandemic October 2019.

In particular, the Port of New York and New Jersey moved 792,548 TEUs in the previous month, surpassing the two container giants on the West Coast of the United States, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB).

In contrast with the port of New York and New Jersey, the two Californian ports experienced significant container volume declines in October. POLA handled 678,429 TEUs, translating to a 25% decrease from the same month in 2021, while POLB reported 658,428 TEUs, which is a 16.6% fall from October in the last year.

However, it is worth mentioning that October cargo volume at the port of New York and New Jersey decreased by 5.9% compared to September 2022, when the seaport handled 842,219 TEUs.

Source: Container News


Port of New York and Jersey surpasses San Pedro Bay powerhouse ports

The Port of New York and Jersey handled 842,219 TEUs in September and is the busiest container port in the United States for a second consecutive month.

The US East Coast port has now achieved 26 months in a row of record-high cargo activity.

The Port of New York and Jersey has reported significantly better performance in September than the two major hubs in California, ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which traditionally handle the most TEU volumes among US container ports.

The Port of Long Beach moved 740,000 TEUs in September, reporting a slight decline of 0.9% compaed with same month last year, while its twin Los Angeles port saw a huge year-on-year fall of 21.5%, handling 710,000 TEUs in September.

“Despite what will likely be a soft ending to 2022, we are on track to have the second-best year in our history,” pointed out Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka, who added, “More importantly, the cargo backlog that began last year has been nearly eliminated due to the diligent, combined efforts of our supply chain partners.”

Source: Container News


Port of Long Beach to receive state investment for port and supply chain projects

The officials of Port and City of Long Beach in the United States praised the approval and signing of the 2023 California state budget, which is expected to bring state funding to the port complex.

In particular, US$110 million will go, through this funding, towards the planned goods movement workforce training campus to improve the safety and efficiency of cargo operations in the port.

The budget also includes US$2.3 billion for freight and supply chain projects, such as replacing older trucks with cleaner models, investments in “green” terminal equipment and “high priority” capital improvements in ports.

“This budget will strengthen our supply chain — but it also represents a huge investment in sustainability, emissions reduction and the health of our communities here in Long Beach,” said Mayor of Long Beach, Robert Garcia.

More specifically, the budget includes:

  • US$1.2 billion over two years to support port-specific high-priority projects that increase goods movement capacity on rail and roadways at port terminals, including rail yard expansions, new bridges, and zero-emissions equipment modernization and deployment.
  • US$110 million over three years for a goods movement workforce training center in the San Pedro Bay
  • US$30 million for operational and process improvements at ports, which includes improving data connectivity and enhancing goods movement
  • US$159.7 million for the purchase of zero-emission drayage trucks as well as charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure

“These investments in a vital economic engine will enhance the efficiency and sustainability of cargo movement and help fund important port projects such as the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility and the Supply Chain Information Highway,” commented Port of Long Beach executive director, Mario Cordero.


Port of Long Beach celebrates 110 years of service

The Port of Long Beach was founded 110 years ago today – June 24, 1911. According to the port’s website, it was “a wild dream scratched out of 800 acres of mudflats at the mouth of the Los Angeles River.”