The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners Thursday approved a $1.7 billion budget for the Port of Los Angeles during the next fiscal year, and it includes a 42.5% increase in funding for the port’s capital improvement projects compared to the previous year.
“We are proud of all that the Port has accomplished this past year, working through an unprecedented pandemic to achieve the highest fiscal year cargo volume in its 114-year history,” said Jaime Lee, President of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “This budget will allow us to continue building on this revenue growth and make important capital investments in Port infrastructure and the L.A. Waterfront, all while prudently managing our revenues and expenses in the coming year.”
The budget allocates $188.7 million for capital improvements. The funding includes:
- $46.6 million for Wilmington Waterfront projects;
- $32.3 million for repairs and upgrades at liquid bulk terminals in compliance with Marine Oil Terminals Maintenance Standards;
- $15.1 million for repairs, improvements and computer software system upgrades at Harbor Department facilities;
- $13.6 million for the Alameda Corridor Southern Terminus Gap Closure project;
- $13 million for Everport Container Terminal Improvements;
- $9.2 million for the San Pedro Waterfront projects; and
- $7.4 million for environmental programs.
While the port saw record cargo volume during the last fiscal year, with year-over-year increases in six of the last nine months, the approved budget forecasts a 6.7% decrease in 20-foot-equivalent units moved compared to the previous year’s forecast.
Officials also project operating revenues to decrease by 2.2%, or $11.7 million, to $533.3 million, and the budget allocates $300.1 million, a 5.3% increase from last year, for operating expenses. Main factors in the increased expenses include programs to improve efficiency and fluidity of cargo, including the funding for the port’s Truck Turn-Time and Dual Transaction Incentive Programs.
“This budget puts us in a solid position to keep operating expenses in check and manage through any market uncertainties, particularly if consumer demand shifts from goods to more services and activities as the economy opens up,” Seroka said about the budget.
The Port of Los Angeles is the nation’s busiest trade port, and facilitated $259 billion in trade during 2020, officials said.