Friday, June 12, 2015

POLA Approves $1 Billion Budget

By Mark Edward Nero

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners on June 8 approved a $1 billion fiscal year 2015-16 annual budget for the Port of Los Angeles, including total operating revenues of $428.6 million.
The projected revenue represents a 1.5-percent increase over last year’s FY 2014/15 estimates, while the $1 billion total is a $142,000 increase over the current $858 million budget.

The port says the projected revenue increase is attributed to anticipated growth in shoreside power-related utility reimbursements, plus a forecasted increase in shipping services’ revenues and overall cargo volumes.

Cargo volumes for FY 2015-16 are projected to be 8.4 million 20-foot equivalent units, a two percent uptick from the estimated actual FY 2014/15 TEU volumes of 8.2 million.

The budget’s operating expenses total $233.5 million, representing a 3.2 percent increase, largely due, according to the port, to mandated increases in salaries and benefits, city services, legal counsel costs and higher shoreside power-related electricity expenditures.

The capital improvement program budget totals $198.8 million, representing a 17.8 percent reduction from FY 2014-15, due primarily to completion of major transportation initiatives like the Berth 200 Rail Yard and the South Wilmington Grade Separation during the previous budget cycle.

Planned capital improvements for FY 2015-16 include construction at the TraPac Container Terminal, large-scale redevelopment at the Yusen Terminals Inc. (YTI), as well as improvements at the World Cruise Center and terminals operated by China Shipping, Evergreen and APL.

“We’ve put together a well-thought-out, strategic budget that will allow the port to build sustainable world-class infrastructure and cargo capacity,” port Executive Director Gene Seroka said.

Earlier this month, the harbor commission for the adjoining Port of Long Beach approved an $829 million budget for its upcoming fiscal year, nearly $30 million less than for FY 2015.