Governor Newsom announced his 2022-23 state budget proposal on Jan. 10. Also known as “The California Blueprint,” the proposed budget will allot $2.3 billion to California ports; a possible big win for the ports and the Port of L.A. has a plan for its portion.
LOS ANGELES—Following Gov. Newsom’s announcement for his budget proposal on Jan. 10, the Port of Los Angeles has prepared a plan to disperse its portion of the budget throughout different sectors of the port. The recommended budget includes a planned record investment of $2.3 billion for California ports.
“These funds, together with our own dollars, private investment and new federal port investment in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will prove to be a powerful combination that accelerates delivery of critically needed projects like a first-of-its-kind goods movement workforce training campus, cargo support facilities, digitalization enhancements, and zero-emission equipment and charging infrastructure,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in a press release from Jan 10. “This suite of investments positions California’s system of ports to be leaders in operational efficiency, sustainability, and job creation.”
According to the Port of L.A.’s Director of Media Relations, Phillip Sanfield, the proposal is the first step in the budget process, which ultimately needs to be approved by the state legislature.
“I believe that process takes several months,” said Sanfield in an email from Jan. 11. “So, elements of his budget may change…no money has been given to California ports. But we, like other California ports, are always working on long-term infrastructure projects. We’ll be applying for grants for projects like marine terminal enhancements, rail infrastructure, roadway-rail grade separations, digital infrastructure, and highway safety projects near the port.”
The funding does not come with specific conditions.
“All ports will need to apply for funding,” said Sanfield. “We will need to articulate how the proposed projects meet the criteria that the state will set for funding.”
The Governor’s $2.3 billion plan for the ports includes:
- A port infrastructure and good movement of $1.2 billion for port related projects that will increase goods movement capacity on rail and roadways serving ports and at port terminals, including railyard expansions, new bridges, and zero-emission modernization projects.
- $875 million will go toward zero-emission equipment and infrastructures including short-haul (drayage) trucks.
- $110 million will be allotted for workforce training. This will include a training campus to support workforce resilience in the face of the supply chain disruption and will accelerate the deployment of zero-emission equipment and technologies.
- $40 million will go towards enhancing California’s capacity to issue Commercial Driver’s Licenses.
- $30 million will be for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to provide funding for operational and process improvements at the ports. This could include enhancing the movement of goods and improving data interconnectivity between the ports to enable efficient cargo movement, reduce congestion, and create opportunities to increase cargo volume by promoting and building supply chain efficiency.
“With respect to zero emissions, we are currently partnering on zero emission truck demonstration projects with a range of manufacturers including Toyota, Volvo, Daimler, Hyundai, Kenworth, BYD and Nikola Motors,” said Sanfield in the email. “We are currently involved in testing in more than 100 zero emission trucks and expect more demonstration trucks this year. State funding would enhance/support these projects.”
According to the Port of L.A., their port is North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value and 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.
“Our supply chain challenges require both near-term and long-term solutions,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in the press release. “I applaud Gov. Newsom for meeting the moment with bold leadership. The Governor’s budget allocates $2.3 billion for ports to address bottlenecks in our supply chain, advance our efforts to decarbonize the freight system, and ensure a robust and resilient workforce continues to move goods on behalf of the state and nation.”