SAN PEDRO, Calif. — June 4, 2009 — The Los Angeles Harbor Commission today adopted a budget of $1.1 billion for the Port of Los Angeles’ Fiscal Year 2009/10.  A 1.8-percent decrease over the current fiscal year budget, the Ports budget for the year ahead beginning July 1 will enable the Port to advance capital improvement projects,  environmental initiatives and security enhancements even as many port tenants and the global maritime industry continue to feel the impact of the worst economic conditions in generations. 

“Our approved budget reflects the harsh realities of the global economic recession and the financial challenges facing the Port of Los Angeles and our tenants,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., the Port’s executive director. ”With container volumes expected to fall again in the next fiscal year, we are continuing to advance projects that will produce economic and environmental benefits while preparing us for the eventual economic recovery and the return of higher trade volumes.”

Knatz emphasized that the Port -- which maintains “AA” bond ratings -- cut spending by seven percent (over $20 million) during FY 2008/09 and adopted additional reductions in expenses for the coming fiscal year.  Those savings helped make it possible for the Port to increase spending on revenue-generating capital projects.

The FY 2009/10 budget anticipates total receipts of $435 million.  Shipping revenues, which represent the largest share of the seaport’s revenues, are projected to be $311 million, a decrease of 12.9 percent from the current fiscal year’s adopted budget as a result of declines in import and export volumes.

The FY 2009/10 Adopted Budget includes a $15.6 million reduction in operating costs with a projected $260.4 million to be spent.  The budget also includes $377 million for capital expenditures -- a 22-percent increase over the current fiscal year’s Adopted Budget.  Within Operating Expenses, the budget also includes a 2.5 percent reduction ($2.6 million) in employee salaries and benefits, which are estimated to be $100.5 million and will be achieved through attrition and an ongoing managed hiring process.  These savings will help achieve the  10 percent reduction in personnel related costs called on by Mayor Villaraigosa as the City of Los Angeles grapples with significant budget shortfalls.

Much of the capital funding will be devoted to the “green” expansion of the TraPac ($64.3 million) and China Shipping ($17.5 million) container terminals, as well as the World Cruise Center ($15.9 million), security projects that include a new Port Police Headquarters ($21.9 million) and transportation projects ($27.7 million).  The budget also includes $105 million for the continuation of previously approved projects to develop the LA Waterfront.

The Capital Improvement Program will create approximately 5,900 construction jobs and the operating budget supports an additional 783 jobs.

The Port’s landmark environmental initiatives will receive $62.7 million, three-quarters of which will fund the continued implementation of the Clean Truck Program.   The budget includes funding for incentives for cargo ship operators to utilize low-sulfur fuel and reduce engine speeds when transiting near the harbor complex, as well as the Technology Advancement Program. 

Despite the swift economic downturn in 2008, the Port of Los Angeles handled more cargo containers than any other seaport in the U.S. (7.8 million TEUs), while continuing to support 3.3 million jobs throughout the U.S. and generating more than $39 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  Container volume in FY 2009/10 is projected to reach 6.1 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), nearly 15.5 percent lower than FY 2008/09 estimated levels.  The Port also continued to advance landmark environmental initiatives to modernize its terminal facilities and significantly reduce port-related air pollution.

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.