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The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners named Al Moro interim executive director, effective June 17. He will fill in for Christopher Lytle, who recently announced plans to depart the Port of Long Beach by mid-July to assume the Port of Oakland's top post.Currently chief harbor engineer, Moro joined the Port of Long Beach in 1997 as a civil engineer. He oversees all administrative and technical activities for the port's engineering programs, including nearly $4 billion in capital improvement projects. Moro has more than 40 years' experience as a professional engineer.He will lead the port "on a steady path forward" while the commission searches for a permanent executive director, commission officials said in a press release, adding that Moro will not be a candidate for the permanent position.Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced new extended hours of operation at PortMiami.Beginning June 16, the department will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m instead of 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting in January, the USDA also plans to operate Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The fewer weekday hours at times has slowed the transport and delivery of goods arriving at PortMiami, a key U.S. perishables hub, according to the USDA."These extended hours will allow us to continue to grow and create new jobs as we prepare for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015," said PortMiami Director Bill Johnson in a press release.Recently designated a Customs Center of Excellence and Expertise for Agriculture and Prepared Products by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, PortMiami expects to double cargo throughput in the coming years after completing $2 billion worth of infrastructure improvements, including an on-port rail facility.
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