The Port of Long Beach, also known as Long Beach’s Harbor Department,
is the 2nd busiest container port in the USA. It
adjoins the separate Port of Los Angeles. Acting as a major gateway for
U.S.-Asian trade, the port occupies 3,200 acres (13 km2) of land with 25
miles (40 km) of waterfront in the city of Long Beach, California. The
Port of Long Beach is located less than two miles (3 km) southwest of
Downtown Long Beach and approximately 25 miles (40 km) south of downtown
Los Angeles. The seaport boasts approximately $100 billion dollars in
trade and provides more than 316,000 jobs in Southern California.
Recent history (1970s-present)
With the rapid expansion of the port raising concerns of pollution,
the Port of Long Beach instituted programs to prevent and control oil
spills, contain debris and effectively manage vessel traffic. Due to its
efforts, the port was awarded the American Association of Port
Authorities Environmental "E" Award. Long Beach is the first harbor in
the Western Hemisphere to receive such an award.
In 1980, with United States and China's improved relations, the Port
sent officials to the People’s Republic of China for the first time.
Less than a year later, the China Ocean Shipping Co. inaugurated
international shipping and designated Long Beach Port as its first U.S.
port of call. Relationships were forged with other international powers
and South Korea's Hanjin Shipping opened a 57-acre (230,000 m2)
container terminal on Pier C of the port in 1991. Following this, COSCO,
a Chinese international shipping carrier, secured business with the Port
of Long Beach in 1997.
From the late 1990s through 2011, the Port of Long Beach has seen
increased traffic and growth with the leasing of terminals. In 1997,
approximately one million containers were inbound to the Port. By 2005,
it had tripled to nearly 3.3 million containers. The total amount of
containers had also increased from three million containers in 1997 to
nearly 6.7 million containers.
The surge in vessel traffic and cargo prompted the port's increased
environmental efforts. In 2004, the Port of Long Beach reached
compliance with an air pollution mandate by handling petroleum coke, one
of the port's largest exports, in improved ways. By using enclosed
conveyors and covered storage areas, the Port reduced the amount of dust
emitted by the petroleum coke by 5 percent – down 21 percent in 1997.
In 2007, the seaport launched the first stage of its Clean Air Action
Plan by approving a Clean Trucks Program which banned older diesel
trucks from serving the Port.
On October 1, 2011, the Clean Trucks Program was launched by the
ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The program served to set a goal to
reduce air pollution from its truck fleet by 80 percent by 2012. Trucks
built prior to 1987 that fail to meet the 2007 clean truck standards set
forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency are denied
access to port terminals. In compliance with the clean truck initiative
on October 1, all trucking companies conducting business with the Port
must have a Port-approved concession outlining the regulations they must
abide by. By September 23, 2011, nearly 500 trucking companies had
applied for concessions, amounting to more than 6,000 trucks.