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Tie Lines
  April 2014
 

Outlook: Slow, Steady Growth for 2014

Expect 2014 to bring steady, moderate growth in cargo volumes, with a projected increase of 5 to 7 percent for imports and 4 to 6 percent for exports. “The good news is that 2014 has everything going for it,” said Walter Kemmsies, Ph.D., chief economist for engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol.

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Port Earns Top Bond Rating

Fitch Ratings has affirmed its long-term AA rating on the Port of Long Beach’s outstanding harbor revenue bonds and harbor revenue refunding bonds and issued a rating outlook of “stable.” Factors cited for the rating include the Port’s strong market position as the second-busiest U.S. container port, its modern facilities and investment in infrastructure, and excellent financial profile. Fitch issued its report April 2 following a March 31 vote by the Board of Harbor Commissioners to refinance more than $600 million in bond debt. The move paves the way for additional borrowing at lower rates that allows the Port to save more than $7 million in interest as it moves forward with its $4 billion capital improvement program.

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March Cargo Volume Slows

Overall container cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach dipped 1.9 percent in March compared with activity for the same month last year. With a drop of 0.7 percent, imports were essentially flat. Exports slipped 1.5 percent. The slight decline is attributed to some shipping lines suspending services or moving cargo through the Port of Los Angeles. Harsh winter weather in the Midwest and East Coast was also a factor.

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Bridge Update Open House

Questions about the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project? Drop by the Port's open house-style workshop for answers Thursday, May 8, at the Hotel Maya any time between 7 and 9:30 a.m. Project managers will be on hand to answer questions one-on-one and give updates on the latest developments, including the upcoming long-term closure of the southbound I-710 Freeway connector to westbound Ocean Boulevard.

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Port Lowers Foreign Trade Zone Fees, Hosts FTZ Workshop

The Port of Long Beach has lowered the cost of doing business for foreign trade zone (FTZ) operators. Effective April 1, the FTZ application, activation and annual fees were reduced to $7,750 each, a savings of 22.5 percent compared with the previous rate of $10,000. The fees cover zone grantee administrative costs, marketing materials and related FTZ activities and staff services. FTZ status saves businesses money by reducing or eliminating duty and excise taxes on goods entering the U.S. The Port, which is authorized to grant FTZ status within a large swath of Southern California, regularly offers workshops on the advantages and opportunities of doing business in an FTZ. The next workshop is May 22 in Lake Forest.

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Register for free May 22 workshop...

 

‘Go Global’ Export Workshops

New to exporting or want to tap into more consumer markets abroad? The Port of Long Beach is teaming up with UPS and other experts to offer free “Go Global” workshops on how companies can increase sales and profits by developing or expanding their international reach. Two identical workshops will be held this month: the first is May 7 at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles; the second is May 21 at the Ontario Convention Center. Each workshop is from 8 a.m. to noon and includes a free breakfast.

Register for May 7 workshop...

Register for May 21 workshop...

 

I-710 Ramps to Terminal
Island Closing

Long-term closure of the southbound I-710 connector to westbound Ocean Boulevard is tentatively scheduled to start Saturday, May 10, at 10 a.m. The connector will be demolished and replaced as part of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. Alternate routes via the Pico Avenue freeway exit will provide access to all destinations. To protect the public during the demolition, the work will also include a short-term closure of the stretch of southbound Harbor Scenic Drive underneath the connector from Friday, May 23, to Monday, May 26.

Download the LB Bridge mobile app for real-time traffic updates...

 

Truck Replacement Grants

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in partnership with the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA), is seeking applications for $25,000 grants to help pay for new clean trucks. The grants are available to replace aging on-road Class 8 heavy-duty trucks currently serving the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles that are exempt under California Air Resources Board rules. A total of $375,000 is available to help replace an estimated 15 trucks. The mitigation program is part of the Heim Bridge Replacement Project. Applications must be submitted electronically to ACTA by 4 p.m. PDT on May 27, 2014.

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In Memoriam

Friends and family of the Port are mourning the passing of Louise M. DuVall, the first woman to serve on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, who died April 19. She was 93. A Pittsburgh native who moved to Long Beach in 1954, DuVall was a two-term harbor commissioner who served more than 11 years. A prominent Long Beach attorney, she also broke barriers as the first woman president of the Long Beach Bar Association and the first woman to be elected to the board of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Share your comments and memories on the Port’s Facebook page.

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Free Summer Harbor Tours

The summer season of free harbor tours has arrived, with online reservations opening the first Monday of every month for the following month. The narrated 90-minute excursions offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Port from the water. Tours are offered the first and third Saturday mornings of each month with a 10 a.m. departure, and the second and fourth Thursday evenings of each month with a 7:30 p.m. departure. Reservations open Monday, May 5, at noon for boat tours in June; Monday, June 2, for boat tours in July; and Monday, Aug. 4, for boat tours in September. Due to Labor Day, reservations for October tours will open Tuesday, Sept. 2. Space is limited and reservations fill quickly.

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  • Mario Cordero, who chairs the Federal Maritime Commission and is a former Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Stanley T. Olafson Award. The honor, given annually by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce during World Trade Week, recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of world trade and international relations.
  • Pacific Harbor Line and parent company Anacostia Rail Holdings recently earned top safety awards from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). PHL earned honors for operating without an employee injury in 2013, the most hours of injury-free operation among 545 smaller railroads in the U.S., and the best safety rate among railroads with 250,000 to 500,000 man-hours worked. Also, PHL Locomotive Engineer Ozzie España was named Safety Person of the Year, and Anacostia’s Chief Safety and Compliance Officer Tom Leopold was named Safety Professional of the Year. ASLRRA gave the awards April 24 at its annual meeting in San Diego.
  • Sebang Express Co. Ltd., parent company of Intercontinental Shipping Co. Ltd., has replaced Intercontinental as the Port’s trade relations representative in South Korea. The Port has had a relationship with Sebang, which recently reorganized its companies, since the early 1980s.
  • Companies that qualify as Small Business Enterprises/Very Small Business Enterprises (SBE/VSBE) earned more than $173 million in contracts with the Port of Long Beach – the highest total to date since the program started in 2005. The Port’s SBE/VSBE program promotes participation of small and very small businesses in construction, professional services, and materials/supplies/equipment purchase contracts. Overall SBE/VSBE participation in applicable contracts for 2013 totaled 24.6 percent, just shy of the Port’s 25 percent goal.
 
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Port of Long Beach
4801 Airport Plaza Drive
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