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Behind the Scenes at Port of Long Beach

Los Angeles Industrial

The Port of Long Beach is the second-busiest container port in the US, handling $180B worth of cargo annually. So we were excited to tag along for a tour. (The proper term may be "stowaway.")

AIR Commercial Real Estate Association took a group of 114 brokers and guests on a two-hour boat tour of the Port, where a $4.5B capital improvement program is underway. The industrial brokers included The Klabin Co/CORFAC International's Matt Stringfellow and JLL's Paul Sablock. Matt says the tour helped connect the dots from the import of goods, to the docks, to the industrial buildings he and his colleagues deal with.

Colliers International's Joe Lin, wife Tina, and DAUM's Jim Sullivan get ready to embark on the tour boat, which set off from Shoreline Village in Long Beach. Joe says that cruising the Long Beach harbor enables you to see the power of global trading and its impact on the US economy,

Cushman & Wakefield's Tim Pimentel and son Chris look out at a tanker, cranes, and containers. The Long Beach port can accommodate ships that are too big to get through the Panama Canal (not unlike us after a visit to Hometown Buffet), even once the latter's expansion is completed. The port's "Middle Harbor" section handles the largest of the world's container ships—able to stack 44 containers across and nine high.

The Altemus Co's David Altemus and his wife admire a few cranes. The Middle Harbor will boast more green features than any similar facility in the world, including electric-powered, ship-to-shore cranes, stacking cranes, and cargo-moving trucks, as well as LED lights for the cranes and container yard. All ships calling at Middle Harbor will plug into the electric grid for their dockside power needs.

The Port of Long Beach's Brett Mascaro led the tour. Capital improvements include a new, energy-efficient terminal being developed by operator Long Beach Container Terminal Inc. In addition, the aging, 1960s Gerald Desmond Bridge will be replaced and the new bridge will be some 50 feet higher, making it the tallest structure in Long Beach. (And good for luring 6'11" NBA star Joakim Noah to Cali when he becomes a free agent.)