Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hyundai Merchant Marine to Partner with LA Port on New Mega Terminal

California United Terminals has reached an agreement to help build and occupy Pier 500, a 200-acre terminal planned for the southeastern edge of the Port of Los Angeles. Hyundai Merchant Marine, which owns California United and imports and exports goods to and from South Korea, announced the deal Dec. 13 in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles after Hyundai officials met with LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“Partnerships like this are what we need to support local businesses, create new jobs, and retain the Port of Los Angeles’ title as the nation's number one shipping container port,” Villaraigosa said. “I am proud of the fact that Hyundai Merchant Marine has confidence in our relationship and our port.”

Pier 500 would cost more than $1 billion to complete and consist of a peninsula atop material along the south side of Pier 400. It would include automated devices to handle containers, as well as an on-dock rail system for trains to be loaded.

Even with a contract in place, however, the Pier 500 project still has to undergo the lengthy permitting and environmental review processes. It’s expected to take up to 10 years before the project is built and operational.

Currently, California United subleases 98 acres from APM Terminals at Pier 400, which is on Terminal Island, the area that connects the LA and Long Beach harbors. Before that, Hyundai was a tenant at the Port of Long Beach, but left in the last year after failing to reach an agreement with another tenant, OOCL, regarding the sharing of the terminal that will result from the under-construction Middle Harbor project.