Port of LB came out on top in 2019 despite waves of uncertain trade war, seeks new horizons in 2020

Port of Long Beach officials recap 2019 and provide updates ongoing projects during 2020 State of the Port address.

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero delivers the 2020 State of the Port Address at the Long Beach Convention Center on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Courtesy Port of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero delivers the 2020 State of the Port Address at the Long Beach Convention Center on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

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Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, looked back at 2019 as a challenging, yet positive year for the port during his speech at the annual State of the Port address on Wednesday, Jan. 22, and he expects to see more projects completed in the near future.

Despite an ongoing trade war between with the United States and China, Cordero said new technology and better trading routes culminated 2019 as the port’s second busiest year on the record.

“Ours is the task of promoting trade so that this city, region, state and nation can thrive,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal said. “It’s our responsibility to see that Port resources are used wisely to keep us competitive and a leader in goods movement.”

With the arrival of a new decade, the port will soon reap the benefits of key projects that were launched over the past decade.

The new cable-stayed span bridge set to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge is scheduled to open to traffic later this year.

Construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2021 on the final phase of the Long Beach Container Terminal, also known as the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project, creating the greenest, most technologically advanced terminal in North America, according to Port officials.

The $1.493-billion modernization project would create a terminal that would 3.3 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in cargo annually and include a dock-rail system that would transport about 24 trains a week to minimize roadway-traffic impact.

Over the next decade, Port officials also plan to invest an additional $1 billion in rail improvements to speed the flow of goods across the country, according to the Port.

Cordero shared his vision of “better times ahead” in 2020, while also pointing out the challenges of “lagging business investment and continued uncertainty in the industry.”

“At the end of the day, we need to be ready for whatever may come,” Cordero stated in a Port press release. “We need to compete, we need to innovate, we need to lead, and most of all, we need to collaborate.”

An archived video of the address can be viewed by clicking here.