Growth at ports of Long Beach and LA expected to fall by around 3%

 31 Mar 2011 02.58pm

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are working on terminal expansions, and have announced they expect trade to increase in coming years, despite current turmoil in countries such as Japan and Libya.

Growth at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles could fall by as much as 3% as the ports begin to feel the economic effects of current turmoil in countries such as Japan and Libya.

Growth at the twin Long Beach-Los Angeles port complex was forecast to reach between 10% and 12% earlier this year. However, the figure has now been revised to 7% to 9% growth, in light of the earthquake in Japan and political unrest in some of the world's top oil-producing countries in the Middle East, the LA Press Telegram reports.

"The Middle East uncertainty, the tragedy in Japan, all of this has put a cloud over the 2011 forecast, but at this point in time, we are still guardedly optimistic," said Frank Baragona, president of CMA CGM America, speaking at "Pulse of the Ports: Peak Season Forecast" held in Long Beach, Wednesday.

The Long Beach-LA port complex grew by 17% during 2010.

Both ports are currently working on rigorous terminal expansions and infrastructural development.

Long Beach is hoping to attract more discretionary cargo by improving its intermodal rail links, redeveloping Union Pacific Railroad's Intermodal Container Transfer Facility and building BNSF Railway's Southern California International Gateway.

 "The near-dock rail projects are critical," Dick Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, told a meeting of the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce.

Long Beach is also currently redeveloping the Middle Harbor and Pier S container terminals, and replacing the Gerald Desmond Bridge, the Journal of Commerce reports.

Los Angeles is expanding its China Shipping and TraPac container terminals, with the next terminal expansion project likely to be the APL facility, according to the JOC.

Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of LA, said the Port is working with Yang Ming Marine Transportation and Yusen Terminals to investigate the possibilities of an expansion project in that area of the harbor.

The cost of the expansion projects at both ports is expected to run into billions, expected to come from internally-generated funds, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal grants and their bonding ability, the port directors said.

  Container Handling, Port Planning, Ports