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Rail News: Intermodal

Long Beach port crafts incentive programs to attract larger ships, more rail volume


The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently approved two incentive programs designed to encourage larger, cleaner ships to dock at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., and attract more containers to move through the facility via rail.

Under the programs, which launch Aug. 1, the port will cap daily dockage fees at $8,641 for ships longer than 1,132 feet and provide incentives for ocean carriers that move additional containers via rail through Long Beach. Without the fee change, the largest vessels would pay more than $11,000 a day in dockage fees, port officials said in a prepared statement. In addition, ships that qualify under the port’s new Green Ship Award Program can earn up to $6,000 more in incentives.

The port will provide ocean carriers a $10 incentive for every additional container they move via rail through Long Beach between Aug. 1, 2012, and July 31, 2013. Rail-bound containers — which typically are headed to consumer markets outside southern California or exported to Asia — account for more than two-thirds of all containerized cargo moving through the port. The incentive is designed to encourage ocean carriers to ferry more cargo through Long Beach and increase their rail usage.

The programs will help protect the port's market share “in an increasingly competitive maritime market,” retain tens of thousands of jobs in the region, and encourage more environmentally friendly and efficient practices, port officials said.

“Shippers have options on how to route their cargo, and we want to make sure we give them the right reasons to move through Long Beach,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/5/2012