California Governor Approves Unprecedented Set of Port Budgets

More than half of the budget will be spent on increasing freight capacity as well as zero-emissions retrofit projects. | Photo courtesy of Port of Los Angeles

Christian Chensvold, contributing writer | Thursday, July 14, 2022

Relief may come for frustrated garment makers tired of waiting while their wares are stuck on a ship unable to dock.

In the state budget for the coming fiscal year, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved an unprecedented $2.3 billion for port infrastructure improvements and upgrades, including 110 million dollars for the creation of a Goods Movement Training Campus at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

“Continued investment in port infrastructure, sustainable technologies and job creation are essential to maintaining our competitiveness today and in the future,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in an announcement after the budget was signed. “Workforce development is an equally critical part of the freight transportation industry, and we are thrilled to have the Governor’s support for our initiative to create the nation’s first training campus.”

The Goods Movement Training Campus will focus on upskilling and reskilling the port workforce to meet the rapidly changing needs of the logistics industry. “The unprecedented supply chain challenges of the past two years have underscored the need to invest in new technologies and training at our ports to ensure the reliable, efficient and safe movement of goods,” said Jim McKenna. , President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Maritime Association.

The Governor’s $2.3 billion plan for ports also includes:

• $1.2 billion for port projects that increase freight capacity on rail and highways serving ports and port terminals, including rail station expansions, new bridges and modernization projects in zero emissions.

• $760 million for zero-emission equipment and vehicles, including zero-emission human-operated port equipment, trucks and short-haul infrastructure (drayage).

• $30 million to be used by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to fund operational and process improvements at ports. The grants will focus on improving the movement of goods, reducing congestion, improving data interconnectivity between ports, and creating opportunities to increase freight volumes by promoting and strengthening the supply chain efficiency.

• $40 million to improve California’s ability to issue commercial driver’s licenses, allowing more truckers to service the San Pedro Bay port complex.

The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest seaport in the Western Hemisphere. In 2021, it facilitated the trade of 10.7 million container units worth $294 billion.

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