The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners informs it has approved a US$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.
“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.
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.
During the four-hour board meeting, adds the Harbor Commissioners, 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.