Thursday, February 4, 2010

Long Beach Port Moves Forward on $9M Incentive Package

The policy-setting governing board for the Port of Long Beach gave preliminary approval Monday to a $9 million incentive program to further boost carrier participation in a speed reduction program aimed at cutting emissions from ocean-going vessels as they enter and exit the port.

Branded the "Green Flag" program by the port, the program incentivizes carriers that slow down to 12 knots or less within 40 nautical miles of the port entrance by offering reduced dockage fees. According to the port, more than 70 percent of the vessels eligible for the incentives participated in the program in 2009. To help boost this number to the port's minimum goal of 90 percent participation, the port board's incentive package includes an additional $3 million to cover reduced dockage fees.

The incentive package also included nearly $6 million for a program designed to attract more rail cargo to the port by offering fee discounts to terminal operators. The increased incentive funding will allow the port to extend the program, originally set to expire April 30, to run through the end of the year.

The port board is expected to give final approval to the incentive package before the end of the month.