Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Long Beach Port Chief Set to Deliver "State of the Port" Speech

With predictions of solid cargo traffic growth in 2011 and a record-setting 2010 tucked safely under his belt, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard Steinke is set to deliver his annual "State of the Port" address on Friday, Jan. 28.

Steinke, entering his 14th year at the helm of the nation's second busiest container port, is expected to focus sharply on the nearly 24 percent growth experienced at the port in 2010 and the lessons learned as the port climbed back dramatically from the global downturn that impacted the world shipping industry in 2009. The port handled 6.3 million TEUs last year, an increase of 1.2 million TEUs over 2009. It was the largest calendar year TEU increase ever posted by a U.S. port. Analysts predict that the solid growth will continue at least for the first four months of 2011.

Steinke is also likely to focus on current and impending port development, including projects like the massive $750 million Middle Harbor terminal redevelopment project and the $1 billion replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

Another point of focus is expected to be the port's role as a jobs creation engine. The port directly accounts for 30,000 jobs in Long Beach, more than 360,000 in the Southern California region, and 1.4 million jobs nationwide. The growth in cargo traffic during 2010, according to the port, added "hundreds of jobs locally and [supported] thousands more down the supply chain." The port hopes to create thousands more jobs in the coming decade through nearly $4 billion in infrastructure and capital development investments.

The "State of the Port" will take place Friday, Jan. 28, at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets to the event can be reserved through the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce website at www.lbchamber.com. The event will also be webcast on the Port of Long Beach’s website at www.polb.com.