Port of Long Beach Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle and Orient Overseas Container Line CEO Phillip Chow signed a $4.6 billion, 40-year lease for the new Middle Harbor container terminal at a ceremony at OOCL’s Hong Kong headquarters on Tuesday, April 3.
The inking of the historic agreement was celebrated by officials from the Port and OOCL. They were joined by labor and maritime industry leaders representing the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.
“I can’t overstate the significance of this agreement,” Lytle said. “It is the largest and most far-reaching terminal lease ever at the Port of Long Beach.”
The lease gives OOCL and its subsidiary, Long Beach Container Terminal, LLC, exclusive use of the facility for 40 years. It will be the Port’s most technologically advanced and greenest terminal.
“The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project is our flagship model for the ‘Port of the Future,’” Lytle said. “Once completed, it will ensure both the competitiveness of the Port of Long Beach, and our customer OOCL, for decades to come.”
Board of Harbor Commissioners President Susan E. Anderson Wise added: “OOCL has been a great business partner for the Port of Long Beach for many, many years, and I couldn’t be happier that they have made another long-term commitment to the Port. With this historic lease signing, we will move forward into the next phase of our successful business relationship.”
Accompanied by Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioners Thomas Fields, Nick Sramek, Rich Dines and Doug Drummond, Wise presented to Chow a glass sculpture by California artist Paul Harrie as a token of the Port’s appreciation. As a gift to the Port, Chow presented a vase by a Hong Kong artist on behalf of OOCL.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) joined in showing support for the project and the terminal. Attending from the ILWU was International President Robert McEllrath, ILWU International Vice Presidents Wesley Furtado and Ray Familathe, ILWU Local 13 President Joe Cortez, ILWU Local 63 President Michael Podue and ILWU Local 94 President Daniel Miranda.
Representing the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), the employer organization which contracts with the ILWU, was President James McKenna, Coast Director Rich Marzano and Senior Vice President Steve Hennessy.
The Port will host a ceremonial ground breaking event in Long Beach in May to commemorate the historic partnership and the development.
Dredging Today Staff, April 10, 2012; Image: oocl