LONG BEACH, Calif., (March 24, 2021) — As a West Coast hub for international trade and goods movement, the City of Long Beach is uniquely positioned for post-pandemic economic recovery and a continued trend of record cargo volumes coming through the Port of Long Beach.
Those insights were a recurring observation at Accelerate Long Beach, a quarterly economic forum held on March 18, focused on the status of the local economy and the trade and logistics industry.
Hosted by the Long Beach Economic Partnership, the forum showcased the advantages of Long Beach for companies in international logistics, goods movement and cargo and freight transportation.
Overall, Long Beach Container Terminal President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Otto said the Port is well-positioned to continue its growth in 2021 and beyond as the economy recovers locally and nationally.
“Things are catching up,” Otto said. “We look forward to the second half [of 2021] that’s still projected to be just as busy.”
Another premier aspect of Long Beach as a trade and logistics leader, forum speakers said, is continuous investment in local port infrastructure, including the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, which is expected to be fully complete in 2022.
The project is an ongoing, $1.5 billion project to combine two aging terminals into one fully-automated container terminal.
At completion, the facility will have an annual capacity of 3.5 million 20-foot equivalent units, a standard container size used to measure cargo volumes. That’s the equivalent of more than a third of the port’s total cargo volume in 2020, its busiest year on record.
“That’s going to be a game-changer,” Lupe Valdez, Union Pacific’s senior director of public affairs for the Arizona, Nevada and Southern California region, said of the automation and modernization efforts underway at the Port of Long Beach.
Meanwhile, economists from California State University, Long Beach noted the city’s ongoing successes in vaccinating residents and essential workers.
“We should take advantage of the fact that we can tell the rest of the world: we’re ahead of the curve,” said Seiji Steinmetz, chair of the university’s economics department.
In the long run, the economist noted, continuous investment underway in maintaining and expanding the city’s key industries, such as manufacturing and tourism, will create economic resilience and sustain the gains made during the pandemic recovery process.
The Accelerate Long Beach economic forum is available to watch for free at this link: https://www.facebook.com/longbeachpost/videos/940010503492628
The next quarterly forum, scheduled for June 17, will focus on Long Beach’s rapidly growing aerospace and satellite industry. Details will be available on the Long Beach Economic Partnership website, LBEP.org.
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At the Long Beach Economic Partnership, we believe in the power of collaboration. LBEP is an action-oriented organization that will sustain, grow business and expand citywide economic opportunities with a global vision that is locally focused through meaningful partnerships. We firmly believe that a simple strategy, unwavering focus and deliberate actions will allow us to deliver on our vision for dependable growth. Learn more at https://lbep.org.https://lbep.org