State Grants Port of Long Beach Record Sum for Zero-Emissions Future

California State Transportation Agency officials Thursday announced a $383.35 million grant for the Port of Long Beach to complete a series of construction and clean-air technology projects aimed at accelerating the transformation to zero-emissions operations and enhancing the reliability and efficiency of cargo movement.

As part of the state’s Port and Freight Infrastructure Program, nearly $225 million will fund a variety of zero-emissions cargo-moving equipment and supportive infrastructure projects across the Port of Long Beach, and include “top handlers” and other manually operated cargo-handling equipment, as well as tugboats and locomotives. The sum is the single largest grant the Port has ever received to support the zero-emissions goals of the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan Update.

Additionally, $158.4 million of the state grant will go toward the planned Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, which will shift more cargo from trucks to on-dock rail, where containers are taken to and from marine terminals by trains. The $1.57 billion facility will be built in phases, with construction scheduled to begin in 2024 and be completed in 2032.

As part of its Clean Air Action Plan, or CAAP, the Port of Long Beach has set a goal of zero-emissions terminal operations by 2030, and zero-emissions trucking by 2035. The Port has a long track record of air quality improvement projects that have dramatically lowered emissions since 2005.

Officials hailed Thursday’s grant announcement as a major step forward in the effort to continue improving the port’s sustainability – especially when it comes to air quality – and to build rail facilities needed to speed cargo to its destination.

“Thank you Gov. Gavin Newsom for delivering a golden opportunity to increase cargo capacity, improve operational efficiency and put the Port of Long Beach one step closer to reaching its environmental goals,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “The state’s investment will ensure continued growth and resiliency for this vital gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”

“This game-changing grant will make a tremendous difference in our efforts to bring more business and jobs to the harbor, enhance the efficiency of cargo movement and accelerate the Port’s ongoing transformation to zero-emission operations,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “I would like to thank Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature for having the foresight to invest in California’s seaports and to secure our spot as an economic engine for the state and the nation.”

“Thank you to the California State Transportation Agency for funding projects to enhance cargo efficiency at the Port of Long Beach and make the air healthier for our surrounding communities,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “These critical projects will make the Port stronger, more competitive and a better neighbor well into the future.”

“The Port of Long Beach has been and will continue to be at the forefront of zero-emissions goods movement,” said Assemblyman Josh Lowenthal, whose district includes the Port of Long Beach. “Today’s announcement is a testament to their ongoing progress and will help the Port continue to be an industry leader in efficiency and environmental responsibility.”

“This grant will bring in much-needed clean air technology, equipment, and infrastructure to continue to tackle and prevent supply chain challenges, and to reduce emissions from goods movement,” said State Sen. Lena Gonzalez, whose district includes the Port of Long Beach. “I am proud of the investments our state is making because they will improve efficiency, support jobs, and boost economic growth at our ports while advancing our state’s environmental goals and doing more to protect the health of surrounding communities. My appreciation goes out to the California State Transportation Agency for supporting such meaningful and mindful investments at the Port of Long Beach.” 

The 2022-2023 state budget sets aside $2.3 billion for supply chain resilience, including one-time funding totaling $1.2 billion for the Port and Freight Infrastructure Program to support goods movement networks affected by the pandemic-induced cargo surge that resulted in unprecedented congestion at California’s seaports.

The program’s goal is to improve the capacity, safety, efficiency and resilience of goods movement through California’s seaports, while also enhancing air quality and growing the state’s economic competitiveness.