Photo courtesy Port of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach Receives Credit Ratings Upgrade Amid Downturn

Mike Schuler
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December 23, 2022

The Port of Long Beach has received upgraded ratings from Standard & Poor’s, one of the nation’s leading credit-rating agencies, in recognition of the ports strong market position and stable outlook even as imports plunge.

The Long Beach Harbor Department’s senior bonds were raised to an “AA+,” while the rating was increased to “AA” for the Port’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan agreement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project.

S&P cited the ports strength during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Port was also recognized for its competitive position, ability to pay its loans, strong reserves and stable revenue from long-term leases with tenants.

“These significant rating upgrades reflect our ability to remain resilient, competitive and fiscally responsible over the last several years,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “This rating fortifies our fiscal responsibilities and demonstrates our good financial standing as we continue to invest in modern and sustainable projects that make us a leader in trans-Pacific trade.”

The ratings upgrade comes as imports through the Port of Long Beach have plunged in recent months along with overall imports into the U.S.

“While some import volume has shifted to other gateways, we are confident that a good portion of it will return to the San Pedro Bay,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero upon the release of the port’s November results. “As we move toward normalization of the supply chain, it’s time to refocus our efforts on engaging in sustainable and transformative operations that will secure our place as a leader in trans-Pacific trade.”

Nevertheless, during the first 11 months of this year the Port of Long Beach has moved 8,589,553 TEUs, down just 0.5% from the same period in 2021, when the port had its strongest year on record.

“Our stellar credit ratings reflect the Port’s ongoing commitment to fiscal responsibility and stability,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “We are proud to secure this level of confidence from one of the major financial rating agencies.”

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