Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Harbor Commissioners and senior Harbor Department staff are traveling to several Asian countries, meeting with the Port of Long Beach’s key customers to retain and bring more business to Long Beach.
The Long Beach officials are scheduled to meet with senior leadership of shipping lines based in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan to explain the Port’s competitive advantages for business, and to introduce the new Mayor, Harbor Commissioners and Chief Executive.
Mayor Garcia said the trip is an opportunity to bring more jobs and economic development to Long Beach, and to underscore his and the Port’s continuing commitment to green, environmentally sustainable growth.
“I am excited to be part of a dedicated city team building business and relationships overseas,” said Garcia. “Our port is a major economic engine and reaching out to key customers and meeting potential new ones will reap dividends here at home.”
The group will meet with companies including current customers Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), COSCO, “K” Line, Hanjin and Toyota. Meetings with prospective clients have also been scheduled. The Mayor and Harbor Commissioners will seek to strengthen relationships with the customers that have made Long Beach the second-busiest container seaport in the United States. Trade that flows through the Port of Long Beach sustains 300,000 jobs in Southern California.
With congestion issues front and center in Long Beach and the Harbor Commission focused on implementing solutions, another topic of the meetings with key customers will be congestion relief. While traveling, Commissioners and Port staff will remain in constant contact and continually updated on local congestion issues.
Shipping executives will be updated on ongoing modernization and capital improvement projects like the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment and the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement.
OOCL is one of the Port’s longest-standing terminal operators, having opened its Long Beach Container Terminal in 1986. In 2011, OOCL signed a 40-year, $4.6 billion lease with the Port for a new terminal, the Middle Harbor facility currently under construction. This is the largest lease of its kind for any port in North America. The Middle Harbor facility will be one of the nation’s most productive, and the world’s greenest terminal.
“We are eager to meet our clients face-to-face and thank them for their business and support of our environmental programs,” said Board of Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond. “We want to hear from our customers so that, together, we can address issues of common concern and work toward our mutual success. We’d also like to introduce our new Mayor and our new Chief Executive, Jon Slangerup, to the industry.”