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Rail News: Intermodal

Long Beach port gains pier stakeholder; Savannah port gains electrified gantry cranes


CMA CGM has purchased a stake in the Port of Long Beach's Pier J, a deal that will bring an additional 2.6 million container units to the southern California port and increase revenue by about $70 million over the next five years, port officials said in a prepared statement.

The world's third-largest container shipping line, CMA CGM becomes a partner in the lease and operations of the 256-acre terminal. The deal marks the French ocean carrier's first investment in a North American West Coast port and guarantees that its ships will call exclusively at the Long Beach port when using the San Pedro Bay gateway, port officials said.

"Of the large carriers, CMA was the only one that did not have a home locally," said J. Christopher Lytle, the port's executive director. "This agreement validates the investments we are making in our facilities."

The port has embarked on a 10-year, $4.5 billion capital improvement program that includes upgrades to terminals, rail facilities and overall infrastructure.

Pier J is home to the Pacific Container Terminal, which features a water depth of about 50 feet and is capable of serving the new generation of giant container ships, port officials said. The port is served by BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific Railroad and switching carrier Pacific Harbor Line Inc.

The Pacific Container Terminal has been operated as a joint venture between global maritime services company SSA Marine and Chinese ocean carrier COSCO.

Meanwhile, the Port of Savannah today plans to unveil several electrified rubber-tired gantry cranes, which will be the first such cranes to be used in North America, Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) officials said in an announcement.

The new cranes are designed to reduce fuel consumed by rubber-tired gantry cranes up to 95 percent.

"This innovative system has the capacity to regenerate power back to the electrical grid, powering itself for an estimated 18 minutes each hour," GPA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/14/2012