The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a US$1.7 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2021/22 annual budget for the Port of Los Angeles.

The approval comes on the heels of record cargo volumes during FY 2020/21 and a few days after Long Beach Harbor Commission gave the green light to the budget of the neighboring Port of Long Beach.

“This budget will allow us to continue building on this revenue growth and make important capital investments in Port infrastructure and the LA Waterfront, all while prudently managing our revenues and expenses in the coming year,” said Jaime Lee, President of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission.

The approved budget forecasts cargo volumes for FY 2021/22 of 9.7 million TEU, which represents a 6.7% or 0.7 million TEU decrease over the previous year’s forecast. Additionally, accompanying operating revenues are projected to come in at US$533.3 million, a decrease of US$11.7 million or 2.2 % over FY 2020/21.

“This budget puts us in a solid position to keep operating expenses in check and manage through any market uncertainties, particularly if consumer demand shifts from goods to more services and activities as the economy opens up,” commented Port of Los Angeles Executive Director, Gene Seroka.

FY 2021/22 proposed operating expenses are US$300.1 million, which represent a 5.3% increase compared to FY 2020/21, while major drivers of this year’s 5.3% increase in operating expenses include programs put into place in 2021 to improve the efficiency and fluidity of cargo through the Port. These include the full-year funding of the Port’s Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive Programs, and expected increases in the number of shipping lines qualifying for the Port’s Ocean Common Carrier Incentive Program, among others, according to a statement.

In FY 2021/22, the US major container port said it will continue to invest heavily in infrastructure, terminal upgrades and LA Waterfront improvement projects. The budget includes a capital improvement budget of US$188.7 million, an increase of 42.5% over the previous year.

Source: Container-News