California plans to invest US$2.3 billion in the port sector
California governor Galvin Newsom has unveiled his 2022-23 state budget proposal, known as “The California Blueprint,” which includes a planned record investment of US$2.3 billion for California ports.
Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka applauded the governor’s announcement. “The Governor’s budget allocates US$2.3 billion for ports to address bottlenecks in our supply chain, advance our efforts to decarbonise the freight system, and ensure a robust and resilient workforce continues to move goods on behalf of the state and nation,” he said.
“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,” added Geroka.
The projects include a goods movement workforce training campus, cargo support facilities, digitalisation enhancements, zero-emission equipment and charging infrastructure, that according to a statement, aim at operational efficiency, sustainability, and job creation.
In particular, the governor’s US$2.3 billion plan for ports includes:
• Port infrastructure and goods movement: US$1.2 billion for port-related projects that are projected to increase goods movement capacity on rail and roadways serving ports and terminals, including railyard expansions, new bridges, and zero-emission modernisation projects.
• Zero-emission equipment and infrastructure: US$875 million for zero-emission port equipment, short-haul (drayage) trucks, and infrastructure.
• Workforce training: US$110 million for a training campus to support workforce resilience in the face of supply chain disruption and accelerate the deployment of zero-emission equipment and technologies.
• Commercial driver’s licenses: US$40 million will be allocated to enhance California’s capacity to issue commercial driver’s licenses.
• Operational and process improvements: US$30 million for the governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to provide funding for operational and process improvements at the ports.
The last investment could include the enhancement of the movement of goods and improvement of data interconnectivity between the ports aiming to enable efficient cargo movement, reduce congestion, and create opportunities to increase cargo volume by promoting and building supply chain efficiency.