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Long Beach breaks records despite trade war - perhaps because of it

THE Port of Long Beach has posted a record year in container throughput despite the Sino-American trade war - or perhaps because of it

Long Beach breaks records despite trade war - perhaps because of it

THE Port of Long Beach has posted a record year in container throughput despite the Sino-American trade war - or perhaps because of it

29 January 2019 - 19:00

THE Port of Long Beach has posted a record year in container throughput despite the Sino-American trade war - or perhaps because of it.

'That's because retailers expedited shipments because of the uncertain trade outlook in the New Year,' said Long Beach Harbour Department executive director Mario Cordero.



'We moved the highest container total ever, 8.1 million TEU,' he said in his State of the Port speech. 'Nearly 70 per cent of our import containers come from China, and 40 per cent of our exports go there.'



'Although exports slowed in the second half of the year, we finished 2018 with a jump in imports,' he said.



'The United States and China are negotiating new trade policies. Count us among the optimists.With so much at stake on both sides we believe they can resolve their differences and keep our economies growing,' said Mr Cordero.



Said Harbour Commission president Tracy Egoscue: 'The Port of Long Beach is America's second- busiest port, and this city's leading economic engine.



'Our nearly US$200 billion a year in trade supports thousands of jobs in Southern California and nearly one-and-a-half million jobs across the country,' she said.



Mr Cordero emphasised operational excellence as the key to the port's success. He offered several examples of quick cargo turnarounds, and re-emphasized the port's commitment to adding more on-dock rail to move containers even more quickly.



The commission has called for more than $1 billion in rail projects, and Mr Cordero said he wants 35 per cent of all cargo direct to trains soon (it is 30 per cent now), with an ultimate goal of 50 per cent.



The Long Beach Container Terminal project, often called the Middle Harbour, is two-thirds complete and the final phase will start soon. The replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge could open by the end of this year.


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