Kern County Board of Supervisors have given the go-ahead for development of a Mojave Inland Port aimed to alleviate congestion to the ports of the San Pedro Bay.
The facility aims to reduce supply chain pressure at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and could provide an annual economic benefit of $500 million, locally and statewide.
The Mojave Inland Port will be situated 90 miles from the San Pedro Bay, allowing goods to arrive by rail from nearby ports more efficiently and to be redirected to their final destinations more quickly.
It is estimated that the Mojave Inland Port will have the capacity to handle approximately 3 million containers per year. Containers will be offloaded from ships onto shuttle trains for direct transport through the underutilised Alameda Corridor directly to Mojave, where they will be distributed.
Located on more than 400 acres immediately adjacent to the Mojave Air & Space Port, a fully operational airport open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a 12,500-foot heavy lift runway, capable of accommodating the largest commercial cargo aircraft, the inland port will have ample space to process these containers.
The site is served directly by rail and by two major highways, State Highways 14 and 58. It is the largest site in California operated by all three modes of transport — road, rail, and air —and is among the largest in the United States.
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Once completed the Mojave Inland Port can offer transportation options of rail, rubber-tyre, air, and space.
“The Mojave Inland Port is a fully permitted industrial site that will provide a solution for California goods movement at the ports,” said Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County Director of Planning.
Annual container volume is expected to increase from 20 million containers today at the two ports, to 34 million by 2030 — even if Gulf and Atlantic ports upgrade and move container flows eastwards.
“The Port of Long Beach has seen record container traffic in recent years, which shows no sign of slowing down,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.
“Being surrounded by the dense urban areas of Long Beach and South Los Angeles, there is limited real estate available. The Mojave Inland Port is the type of innovative solution that will alleviate congestion and allow dockworkers to do their jobs more efficiently, getting goods to businesses and consumers faster”
With site plans which are now zoned and approved, Pioneer Partners will work with Kern County officials to secure building permits as part of the next phase of the development process.
The distribution could also result in an economic benefit of more than $100 million along the Alameda Corridor.
“Inland ports are a critical component to the future balance of our supply chain. They can provide flexibility and efficiency, all while relieving traffic congestion at critical choke points,” said Trelynd Bradley, Deputy Director of Sustainable Freight and Supply Chain Development at the California Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development.