The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $1.7 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2021/22 annual budget for the Port of Los Angeles. The approval comes on the heels of record cargo volumes during FY 2020/21, which Port officials credit to a rapid recovery in global trade and pent-up, pandemic-induced consumer demand for goods.
“We are proud of all that the Port has accomplished this past year, working through an unprecedented pandemic to achieve the highest fiscal year cargo volume in its 114-year history,” said Jaime Lee, President of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “This budget will allow us to continue building on this revenue growth and make important capital investments in Port infrastructure and the LA Waterfront, all while prudently managing our revenues and expenses in the coming year.”
“This budget puts us in a solid position to keep operating expenses in check and manage through any market uncertainties, particularly if consumer demand shifts from goods to more services and activities as the economy opens up,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.
The approved budget forecasts cargo volumes for FY 2021/22 of 9.7 million TEUs, a 6.7% or 0.7 million TEU decrease over the previous year’s forecast. Accompanying operating revenues are projected to come in at $533.3 million, a decrease of $11.7 million or 2.2 % over FY 2020/21.
FY 2021/22 proposed operating expenses are $300.1 million, which represent a 5.3% increase compared to FY 2020/21. Major drivers of this year’s 5.3% increase in operating expenses include programs put into place in 2021 to improve the efficiency and fluidity of cargo through the Port. These include the full-year funding of the Port’s Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive Programs, and expected increases in the number of shipping lines qualifying for the Port’s Ocean Common Carrier Incentive Program, among others.
In FY 2021/22, the nation’s busiest trade gateway will continue to make major investments in infrastructure, terminal upgrades and LA Waterfront improvement projects. The budget includes a capital improvement budget of $188.7 million—an increase of 42.5% over the previous year.
Signature capital improvement projects include $46.6 million for Wilmington Waterfront projects; $32.3 million for repairs and upgrades at liquid bulk terminals in compliance with Marine Oil Terminals Maintenance Standards (MOTEMS); $15.1 million for improvements and repairs to Harbor Department facilities and computer software system upgrades; $13.6 million for the Alameda Corridor Southern Terminus Gap Closure project; $13.0 million for Everport Container Terminal Improvements; $9.2 million for the San Pedro Waterfront projects; and $7.4 million for various environmental programs.
North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $259 billion in trade during 2020. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. The Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.