On Wednesday, the Port of Long Beach held its annual Pulse of the Ports Peak Season Forecast event at the Long Beach Convention Center with almost 500 attendees. One of the top themes at the event was accelerating the movement of goods through the Port complex. Key presentations from Hyundai Merchant Marine, Long Beach Container Terminal, RoadOne and Union Pacific touched on various points of freight transport using intermodal containers across multiple modes of transportation (e.g., ship, rail, and truck). In this case, a special, standardized intermodal container can go from shipper to its ultimate destination via truck or rail without having its contents transferred to another type of container or truck.
If you travel along Ocean Boulevard, there are literally thousands of these intermodal containers stacked on the south side of the road on the properties of the various Port tenants. Once containers are placed on trucks and they leave tenant yards, the current Gerald Desmond Bridge plays a vital in the cycle of goods movement, as 15 percent of the nation's imported waterborne cargo is trucked over it. However, the current bridge was not designed to accommodate the dramatic increase in trucking traffic with the growth of the Port.
With three lanes in each direction plus safety lanes, the new bridge will be wider and better able to serve the current 68,000 vehicle trips that travel over the current bridge each day, which equals about 18 million trips a year. About 35 percent of this volume is truck traffic travelling to and from the Port tenants.
To see the archived webcast of the Pulse of the Ports Peak Season Forecast presentations, go to www.polb.com/economics/forecastevent.asp.