Port of Long Beach Continues to Benefit From Lytle Legacy
August 20, 2013 - SCMR Editorial
While the newly-appointed executive director of the Port of Oakland faces a host of new challenges, the Port of Long Beach is still searching for a replacement.
Chris Lytle left the Port of Long Beach in very good shape, said spokesman, Art Wong, but it will still take a few months to find a new leader. In the meantime, Al Moro, will remain in Acting Executive Director role. Prior to being named for this position, Moro had served as the Chief Harbor Engineer and Assistant Managing Director of Engineering.
“The Board of Harbor Commissioners chose Moro – in part – because he is not interested in seeking the permanent position,” said Wong. “We hope to launch a survey with our stakeholders, and determine how to choose a candidate a few months from now.”
Wong noted that finding a replacement will not be easy, as Lytle’s impressive legacy demonstrates.
Under his leadership, the port worked with the 2nd and 3rd largest global container lines, Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA-CGM, to establish Long Beach as their Southern California hub.
“The resulting realignment of terminals and services for those lines gave us an additional 900,000 containers and an estimated $22 million per year,” said Wong.
Lytle also worked closely with OOCL, a Hong Kong-based line, to negotiate a $4.5 billion 40-year lease with the Port of Long Beach – the largest lease in US container terminal history. When completed in 2019, the Middle Harbor Terminal facility of its kind in the world.
Wong acknowledged that Lytle will have his hands full with social anti-growth activists in the Bay Area, but noted that Lytle has dealt with these issues in the past.
“It is important to remember that he was also instrumental in implementing numerous ground-breaking environmental initiatives that resulted in 75% reduction in diesel particulates in only five years,” said Wong.
Through the first seven months of 2013, total container volume at the Port of Long Beach was up 13.2 percent year over year to 3,784,624 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), with imports up 15.7 percent at 1,933,183 TEUs and exports up 9.5 percent at 974,580 TEUs.
“These increases are in part due to the larger ships calling at the port more frequently and the addition of service lines starting in the last part of 2012,” said Wong.
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