California Governor Galvin Newsom on Monday unveiled his 2022-23 state budget proposal, which includes a planned record investment of $2.3 billion for California ports amid severe congestion as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed budget, which the Governor is calling “The California Blueprint,” includes $1.2 billion for port-related projects that increase capacity for goods on rail and roadways serving ports and at port terminals, including railyard expansions, new bridges, and zero-emission modernization projects.
There’s also $875 million for zero-emission port equipment, short-haul (drayage) trucks, and infrastructure; $110 million for a training campus to support workforce resilience in the face of supply chain disruption and accelerate the deployment of zero emission equipment and technologies; $40 million to enhance California’s capacity to issue Commercial Driver’s Licenses; and $30 million for operational and process improvements at the ports. This could include enhancing the movement of goods and improving data interconnectivity between the ports to enable efficient cargo movement, reduce congestion, and create opportunities to increase cargo volume by promoting and building supply chain efficiency.
“Our supply chain challenges require both near-term and long-term solutions. I applaud Gov. Newsom for meeting the moment with bold leadership,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The Governor’s budget allocates $2.3 billion for ports to address bottlenecks in our supply chain, advance our efforts to decarbonize the freight system, and ensure a robust and resilient workforce continues to move goods on behalf of the state and nation.
“These funds, together with our own dollars, private investment and new federal port investment in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will prove to be a powerful combination that accelerates delivery of critically needed projects like a first-of-its-kind goods movement workforce training campus, cargo support facilities, digitalization enhancements, and zero-emission equipment and charging infrastructure. This suite of investments positions California’s system of ports to be leaders in operational efficiency, sustainability, and job creation,” Seroka said.
Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero issued the following statement following the release of the proposal:
“The governor’s proposed budget includes significant and targeted investments in the state’s seaports that will improve the efficiency, sustainability and velocity of goods movement. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of the state’s port and supply chain, so these investments are very well timed.
“With $2.3 billion designated for port- and supply chain-related needs, the state of California will make a decisive step forward in nurturing the beneficial economic impacts that international trade brings to the state. The funding will help to strengthen the vigorous capital improvement and environmental sustainability programs at the Port of Long Beach.
“With $875 million to help fund clean trucks and terminal equipment, the budget is also plugging into the Port’s ongoing transition to zero-emissions operations. The budget also includes $110 million for a state-of-the-art workforce training center planned in the San Pedro Bay ports complex to improve crucial dockworker skills. We welcome Governor Newsom’s visionary plan for port-related funding.”
Last fall, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the State of California announced a $5 billion emergency loan to help modernize California’s ports. What exactly the money will be spent on remains unclear.
The Port of Long Beach in December was awarded a $52.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration to help fund development of the port’s “Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility,” helping to boost on-dock rail capacity at shipping terminals. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $17 billion for the nation’s ports, waterways, and inland ports of entry.
Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the Port of Los Angeles and Port of long Beach on Tuesday to discuss the investments.
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