California’s Port of Long Beach and the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) have signed a four-year agreement to improve their cargo flow and reduce air pollution.
This follows the Port of Long Beach’s record-breaking May movements of more than 900,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units)—a first in its 110-year history—driven by pandemic recovery and increased online sales.
The pact between the nation’s second-busiest seaport and the Salt Lake City-based logistics network includes the following:
• The Port of Long Beach will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to optimize its existing on- and near-dock rail system, reducing dwell times and improving the speed and consistency of rail deliveries to and from Utah.
• UIPA will develop transloading capacity within its jurisdiction to “enhance import fluidity and increase export capacity from Utah businesses.”
• The ports will “collaborate and share data on efforts to improve air quality and energy efficiency by deploying alternative-fuel vehicles and other clean-air technologies.”
• The partners will implement joint marketing efforts to “shared trade industry partners, studying how to resolve existing supply chain issues, and expanding export opportunities for Utah and surrounding states.”
“This agreement is vital to the Port’s strategic goals to diversify exports and create new partnerships that will help alleviate the unprecedented cargo surge we’ve experienced since last summer,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “Our enhanced on-dock rail facilities will be crucial in delivering cargo to Utah, while also strengthening the Port’s competitiveness and reducing emissions.”
“This partnership is another critical connection as we work to streamline logistics for Utah and the Intermountain West,” UIPA Executive Director Jack Hedge said. “Working directly with the Port of Long Beach creates a synergy and stability that opens opportunities for Utah businesses to move goods more efficiently.”
May was the 11th consecutive month that the Port of Long Beach broke cargo movement records for a particular month amid a historic cargo surge that started in July 2020, the Port reported. It moved 907,216 TEUs, breaking the previous “best month” record set in March 2021 by 66,829 TEUs. Trade was up 44.4% compared with May 2020, according to the Port.
Also in May, the Port reported:
• Imports rose 42.3% to 444,736 TEUs and exports were virtually flat, increasing 0.6% to 135,345 TEUs.
• Empty containers moving through the Port increased 80.7% to 327,135 TEUs.
Additionally, the Port moved 4,029,532 TEUs during the year’s first five months, jumping 42.3% from the same point in 2020.
“We are seeing a demand for more goods as the country continues to open up and people return to work,” Cordero said. “Even as we continue to set records during this unprecedented moment in our industry, this is still a fragile moment for the economy and we remain optimistic about our country’s continued recovery.”