Port of Los Angeles deepens channel

The widening of the Panama Canal will enable it to accommodate the larger ships that routinely call at L.A. and other major west coast ports, providing an all-water route to Gulf and East Coast destinations.

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The Port of Los Angeles began the final phase of its 13-year, $370 million Main Channel Deepening Project (MCDP) late last week.

After a five-year break in the project to identify and environmentally assess additional disposal sites for the soil dredged up by deepening the port’s main waterways, a barge containing roughly 4,000 tons of boulders and fill material began to discharge its payload at a designated outer harbor location. The site, directly west of Angel’s Gate, will be a containment area to hold clean dredge material and expand the Port’s thriving outer harbor shallow water habitat by an additional 50 acres.

Completing the final phase of the Main Channel Deepening Project over the next three years is critical to future trade growth and job creation at the Port of Los Angeles, especially in light of the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2014. The widening of the Panama Canal will enable it to accommodate the larger ships that routinely call at L.A. and other major west coast ports, providing an all-water route to Gulf and East Coast destinations.

“The Main Channel Deepening Project is a lifeline to maintaining our competitive edge during the critical years ahead as we face increased competition on a number of fronts,” said port executive director Geraldine Knatz. “We presently have $350 million in terminal expansion projects underway at our china shipping and Trapac container facilities. Resumption of the Main Channel Deepening Project is key to delivering those projects on schedule – a commitment we have made to those terminal operators.”

Ultimately, those terminals will facilitate more than 19,000 direct and indirect jobs. The MCDP project also will complete channel deepening in waterways leading to the Yusen/NYK, Evergreen and Yang Ming container terminals, as well as the presently vacant terminal at Berths 206-209.

In fiscal year 2008/2009, the Harbor Department derived 74 percent of its overall revenues from its container terminals ($286 million of $402 million).

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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