On a world stage set with increased competition and ongoing economic instability, our nation’s seaports must still perform at a high level, meet new and continuing challenges to increase international trade, operate as efficiently as possible and continue our commitment to sustainable, clean operations that expand port-related jobs in the local economies we each serve.
Our great challenge moving forward will be managing our financial resources to make the necessary improvements. The Port of Long Beach is entering its second century and we see a huge potential, because we will have the vital infrastructure and highly productive operations either in place or on the way to serve the needs of shipping in the 21st century.
Many U.S. ports are gearing up to serve the larger, more efficient mega-ships, especially with the opening of the new Panama Canal in 2014. That means more on-dock and near-dock rail, wider and deeper shipping channels, deep-water berths, bigger cranes, better roads, taller bridges and tunnels and more efficient terminals.
More than ever, ports are developing productive alliances with industry partners. And we are aware we cannot grow without the support of the communities in which we operate. Our neighbors rightfully demand our operations are green, and more ports worldwide are making this commitment to reducing environmental impacts with new, clean technology.
For all ports, these investments will be possible only with the best financial practices. All ports need to plan for innovative cargo movement in the coming years. We need to take a world view toward competitiveness, modernizing our facilities and infrastructure so that our ports are as efficient and productive as any in the world.
The future is an exciting place for trade.