The Port of Long Beach has sailed into 2017 propelled by transformative modernisation projects all across the harbour, excellent financial health, an industry-leading record of environmental progress, and a strong commitment to working with the City and neighbours.
These were the reports given by Harbour Department leaders on Wednesday (January 26) morning at the annual ‘State of the Port’ event.
Around 300 industry stakeholders, civic leaders and community members attended the gathering at the Long Beach Convention Centre to hear about the Port’s plans to enhance its rail network and other efficiencies to pursue competitiveness in the year ahead.
Despite a 2016 that took the shipping industry and the Port into some rough seas, the Port of Long Beach responded to the challenges, staying on course and providing world-class service, building the most advanced facilities in North America and maintaining one of the best credit ratings for any U.S. seaport.
Board of Harbour Commissioners President Lori Ann Guzmán set the stage for the State of the Port address, laying out the Port’s goals in 2017 for increasing sustainability, financial strength and market share.
Outlining the plan, Guzmán said, “This past year, members of the Harbour Commission worked together on the Port’s Strategic Plan — identifying course corrections, quantifying our key goals, and ensuring we have the resources available to achieve the Port’s critical mission”. “Our top priority is your long-term prosperity, and the best way to accomplish this is through our updated Strategic Plan” Guzman added.
Interim Chief Executive Duane Kenagy noted that last year the Port hosted the christening of the biggest vessel to visit North America, opened the first phase of the highly advanced Pier E terminal, and constructed the early stages of the massive span that will eventually replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
“We saw mergers, changing alliances, and even bankruptcies, and now we face uncertain trade policies. It is clear — only the most efficient and strongest will survive,” Kenagy said. “But working with each of you — our customers and partners — I am confident the Port of Long Beach will thrive.”
The Port is blessed, Kenagy said, with an aggressive and well-financed program to reinvest in its infrastructure, a highly trained and productive labour force, an impressive record of ecological improvements and shipping line partners that are stepping up to fill in where another left off.