Friday, July 23, 2021

Potential Queen Mary Transfer to Port of LB Concerns Supply Chain Stakeholders

Supply chain stakeholders are urging city and harbor leaders not to saddle the Port of Long Beach with the responsibility of the Queen Mary, an historic vessel in need of millions of dollars in repairs.

In a July 20 letter to Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna, a number of stakeholders including the California Fresh Fruit Association, the California Retailers Association and Harbor Trucking Association expressed their concerns about the possibility of such a move.

“Transferring the ill-fated vessel and the equally unsafe submarine will be a huge drain of port resources – threatening the port’s ability to invest in infrastructure needed to meet clean air goals and maintain port competitiveness,” according to the letter.

The letter comes as members of the Long Beach City Council are considering its next steps for the beleaguered ship, which the city has owned since 1967 and leased to operators whose responsibility it was to maintain and repair the Queen Mary. The city retained full control of the vessel after the last operator filed for bankruptcy and walked away from the lease.

At a study session Tuesday, the Council was given three possible options: scraping the Queen Mary for $105 million to $190 million, preserving it for the next 25 years for $150 million to $175 million, or moving it to a dry dock in an effort to preserve it for the next 100 years for an estimated $200 million to $500 million.

Some city leaders are leaning toward preserving the ship. In the letter to Colonna, stakeholders said the city - not the port - should bear the cost of “this albatross.”

“If the city wants the Queen Mary to be resurrected,” the letter said, “then the city should fund all the costs associated.”