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Home Port News Port of Long Beach prepares for rail-focused 2024

Port of Long Beach prepares for rail-focused 2024

Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero revealed the Californian port's strategic efforts to pave the way for a sustainable future.

The focus of the port is on the modernization of rail facilities and the improvement of air quality. Cordero outlined the ambitious goal of transforming Long Beach into the world's inaugural zero-emissions seaport.

In line with this vision, construction is set to commence this year on the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility. This facility aims to streamline cargo movement, bolster the port's competitiveness, and create a positive impact on the environment for nearby communities.

The main aim is to enhance efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and position Long Beach as a leader in environmentally conscious port operations.

"Today, I can represent to you that the state of our Green Port is strong. We have gone through one of the greatest challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic – and we’ve emerged, still the premier gateway for trans-Pacific trade. At the end of this decade, the Port of Long Beach will be on the cusp of not only operational transformation given our rail investment but also environmental transformation – to a zero-emission port," Cordero told 800 industry partners, community members and civic leaders gathered at the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom for the State of the Port address.

At the heart of the Port's on-dock rail initiatives, the cutting-edge Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility is poised to revolutionize freight transportation with increased speed and sustainability.

Envisioned as the focal point, this facility will augment the size of the existing Pier B rail yard, expanding it to an impressive 692 thousand square meters. Moreover, it is set to significantly amplify on-dock rail capacity, handling an annual volume that surpasses 4.7 million TEUs, marking a threefold increase.

The US$1.5 billion project, slated for completion in 2032 and to be implemented in phases, is expected to generate over 1,100 construction-related jobs. The major US port has already secured support for this endeavour, with a noteworthy US$643 million obtained from federal, state, and local grant funding. A significant portion, exceeding US$500 million, was successfully secured in 2023, underscoring the Port's commitment to advancing this transformative rail infrastructure.

Notably, Port of Long Beeach secured a record-breaking US$792 million in grants from federal, state, and local sources in 2023. These funds are earmarked for infrastructure, security, and clean air initiatives, aligning with the Port's ambitious goal to transition to zero-emission cargo handling by 2030 and zero-emissions trucking by 2035.

CEO Mario Cordero anticipates further funding in the coming year, particularly for projects like the development of a "hydrogen hub" to power cargo-handling equipment with zero-emission technology. Progress will also continue on the proposed Pier Wind project, a 400-acre terminal aimed at assembling offshore wind turbines for deployment in the ocean off Central and Northern California. If approved, Pier Wind would be the largest facility of its kind in the nation, contributing to California's renewable energy goals.

Later this year, the Congressman Alan Lowenthal Global Trade and Education Center, 30,480,000 meters within the Port Administration Building, will open. Named after Lowenthal, who served Long Beach in the state Legislature and Congress until 2023, the centre will feature interactive exhibits showcasing the Port's history, operational achievements, and environmental stewardship.

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