$938.8 Million Budget Focuses on Continued Capital Improvements to Maintain Global Competitiveness, Spur Economic Development and Jobs

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — June 5, 2014 — The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $938.8 million fiscal year (FY) annual budget for the Port of Los Angeles. Nearly $350 million (37 percent) of the approved budget will go toward capital expenditures to help the Port maintain its global competitive position, create jobs and enhance economic development in the local community and greater Los Angeles region.

During the four-hour board meeting, a number of constituents echoed the request made at the start of the meeting by 15th District Councilmember Joe Buscaino that specific funds be allocated in next year’s budget for the Sampson Way Realignment Project.  The proposed budget was amended to include that stipulation.

"I am extremely happy that the Harbor Commission has listened to the input of the community and has voted to budget $1.3 million toward the realignment of Sampson Way.  This is the first step in improving the flow of traffic along Harbor Blvd. and Sampson Way-- the major points of access to the LA Waterfront. It benefits not only Ports O’ Call, but other current and future Waterfront projects", said 15th District Councilmember Joe Buscaino.

“In the face of fierce and increasing competition from around the world, we must do whatever we can to maintain our position as the nation’s premier trade gateway,” said Ambassador Vilma Martinez, Harbor Commission President. “This budget will allow us to continue to modernize infrastructure, upgrade terminals and build a transportation network that can continue to successfully compete globally.”

The Port anticipates spending approximately $1.1 billion on its capital improvement program over the next five years. In the FY-2014-15 budget, $281 million will be dedicated to specific capital improvement program (CIP) projects. Terminal development and transportation projects comprise 87 percent of the CIP budget.

In keeping with its commitment to strengthen relationships with Port stakeholders, about $38 million of the Port’s proposed operating and capital budgets will fund a wide range of projects that provide benefits to the community, such as development of the LA Waterfront. Through a combination of payments and in-kind services that support local nonprofit and youth organizations and the maritime community at large, $22 million is provided through actual cash outlay and $15.6 million is included through properties provided at a discount or gratis.

Approximately $136.3 million (48.5 percent) of the CIP budget will be dedicated to terminal development projects. Approximately $100.4 million will help fund the ongoing TraPac Terminal expansion, which includes backland improvements, stacking crane and automation infrastructure, an intermodal facility to provide on-dock rail capabilities, and other terminal-related construction. Another estimated $19.2 million will go toward upgrades and improvements at the Yang Ming, APL, Evergreen, YTI and China Shipping terminals.

An estimated 38 percent of the proposed CIP budget, or $109 million, is designated for transportation improvement projects.  Funding for major projects nearing completion includes $35.5 million for the Berth 200 Rail Yard with its accompanying track connections and $27.9 million for the South Wilmington Grade Separation project. Both projects play important roles in the Port’s overall goods movement strategy. About $40 million has been allocated to improve vehicular traffic flow to and from the Interstate 110 Harbor Freeway, a critical transportation link to the Port, along with the design of Sampson Way to improve access to and from the LA Waterfront.

The approved budget is based on a projected 3.8 percent increase in cargo growth over the current budget. Higher container volumes are expected to be generated by organic growth, as well as by the Port’s Common Ocean Carrier Incentive Program, in which ocean carriers will earn financial incentives for each incremental container over established thresholds shipped through the Port.

The Port estimates that approximately 6,250 direct and indirect jobs will be created by implementation of the FY 2014-15 budget, with nearly 74 percent of those jobs due to capital spending projects.

In addition to capital improvements, the Port remains committed to its goals of sustainability and fiscal responsibility. Of the $217.3 million in proposed operating expenses, about $18 million is dedicated to environmental management operations. Of this, $3.5 million is earmarked for environmental incentives aimed at reducing emissions from Port operations. 

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port.  A brighter future.