With imports at peak-season-like levels, container cargo terminals at the Port of Long Beach reported that they moved a total of 610,644 twenty-foot equivalent units (teus) in November, a 4.8% increase over a strong November 2004.

The Port surpassed last year’s record-breaking yearly total in only 11 months, climbing 17.9% through November to more than 6.1 million teus.

With retailers showing confidence in after-Christmas sales, imports rose 3.2% to 305,065 teus, a small percentage increase only because November 2004 was the best month of that year. The peak holiday shipping season usually runs from August through October, but carried through November in 2004 because of congestion caused by labor shortages. With additional hiring and adequate labor, there was no congestion in 2005.

Exports rose 7.8% to 107,147 teus amid high demand for raw materials in Asia. The number of empty containers heading overseas to be re-filled with products climbed 5.9% to 198,432 teus.

Middle Harbor container cargo terminal meetings scheduled

The Port has scheduled two ‘scoping’ meetings to gather public comments on a proposed project to modernize infrastructure and integrate ‘green’ operations at its Middle Harbor container cargo terminals.

The meetings ’ 7:00 p.m. January 30 at Long Beach City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., and 7:00 p.m. February 6 at Cabrillo High School, 2001 Santa Fe Ave. ’ will gather input from interested parties for preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS).

The Port’s Middle Harbor terminals consist of the California United Terminals facility at Piers D and E, and the Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier F. The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project proposes to reconfigure terminal land, water and upgrade equipment to achieve more efficient and environmentally friendly cargo operations as mandated in the Port’s Green Port Policy.

The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project’s 50-page ‘Notice of Proposal’ is available at the Port web site, www.polb.com, and the Port Administration Building, 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach, CA 90802.

Harbor Commission President visits New Orleans

Harbor Commission President Doris Topsy-Elvord visited New Orleans in December to tour the city’s hurricane-damaged port and distribute toys and school supplies to children affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Topsy-Elvord visited New Orleans to assess the damage at the Port of New Orleans, and meet with port officials to discuss how they managed the aftermath of the hurricane and ongoing recovery. Topsy-Elvord was accompanied by Gus Hein, Executive Officer to the Board, and Jim Grubbs, Director of Development for the South Bay-Long Beach Volunteer Center.

Representing the City of Long Beach, Topsy-Elvord, in conjunction with the South Bay-Long Beach Volunteer Center and Operation Teddy Bear, presented more than 8,000 toys, teddy bears, backpacks, school supplies and other items to New Orleans school children.

Harbor Commission approves $2.2 million-a-year Green Flag Incentive

Offering discounted dockage rates and Green Flags, the Port is urging vessel operators to observe speed limits in a stepped up effort to increase compliance with the Voluntary Vessel Speed Reduction Program to improve air quality.

The Harbor Commission has approved a $2.2 million-a-year Green Flag Incentive Program to recognize individual ships and to reward fleet operators for reducing vessel speed to reduce air pollution.

Beginning in 2006, vessels that observe a 12-knot speed limit within 20 miles of the Port during an entire year of voyages to and from Long Beach will be awarded a Green Flag to recognize their contributions to improved air quality.

The ocean carriers will qualify for a 15% discounted ‘Green Flag’ dockage rate during the following 12 months if 90% of their vessels comply with the 12-knot speed limit for a year.

If all of the carriers qualify for Green Flag rates, the Port would make an estimated $2.2 million investment through reduced dockage collectio