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            november 13, 2019

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Cordero reveals 2018 record cargo results at State of the Port


For the first time in its 108-year history, the Port of Long Beach in 2018 surpassed 8 million twenty-foot equivalent units, as cargo grew more than 7 percent to set a record for a second consecutive year, Executive Director Mario Cordero announced Wednesday at the annual State of the Port address.
Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue introduced Cordero in front of a crowd of more than 700 at the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom. She spoke on behalf of the Commission and thanked the Port's many partners — vessel and terminal operators, cargo owners, longshore workers, truckers and others — who made 2018 so successful.
Egoscue said the Port of Long Beach has a “monumental” 2019 ahead, a year when many long-planned infrastructure projects begin to be realized.
“We are moving into our new Civic Center headquarters,” said Egoscue. “We will be putting the finishing touches on the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The new Long Beach Container Terminal is entering its final phase of construction. And we’re leaping ahead with the greening of the Port.”
The Port finished 2018 with 8,091,023 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved, an increase of 7.2 percent. Imports grew 6.1 percent to 4,097,377 TEUs. Exports totaled 1,523,008 TEUs, up 3.6 percent; empties increased 11.8 percent to 2,470,638 TEUs.
December, at 741,647 TEUs (a 6.4 percent increase compared to December 2017), was the second-busiest month ever for the Port of Long Beach, behind June 2018. Imports rose 7.9 percent to 373,098 TEUs. Outbound TEUs dropped 17.5 percent to 113,329, while empties jumped 19.4 percent to 255,220 TEUs.
Cordero in his speech said the cargo gains show that the Port, with its operational excellence, $4 billion infrastructure program and zero-emissions initiatives, is planting the seeds to ensure the region thrives as it delivers the nation’s cargo, now and in the future. Key projects in the years ahead include $1 billion in rail improvements that will help boost the Port’s on-dock rail cargo to 35 percent, with a long-term goal of 50 percent.
“Rail allows us to move goods to and from all the major U.S. markets much faster than cargo routed through Gulf and East coast ports,” Cordero said. “This is true for imports and exports. And for the American exporter, my message to you is this: our rail will move your cargo faster and more efficiently.”
A former Harbor Commissioner and past Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Cordero reviewed a year in which tonnage exceeded 80 million metric tons — the highest in a decade — making the Port of Long Beach the West Coast tonnage leader.
He also highlighted the Port’s $80 million in grants that will assist the Port’s transition to zero-emissions operations. The Port has set a goal for terminal operators to use only zero-emissions equipment by 2030, and for drayage fleets to switch to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
Port officials expect trade gains in 2019, but at a more conservative pace than last year as more mature effects of the U.S.-China trade war hit.
Cordero expressed optimism about the direction of commerce between the two nations. “With so much at stake on both sides of the Pacific, we believe the United States and China can resolve their differences and keep our economies growing.”

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