Both the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are undergoing major upgrades in an effort to keep shippers from moving to other facilities. L.A. is spending $1.2 billion over the next five years on a variety of capital projects, while Long Beach is working on its Middle Harbor facility, which will create one 304-acre terminal out of two smaller operations. From the LAT:
At the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, new cargo terminals will cut air pollution by half compared with the current facilities. More containers will be loaded directly onto trains; handling equipment will run on electricity instead of diesel. Ships will hook to the electric grids so that they can turn off their diesel engines while in port. The only thing that isn't clear is the amount of automation the new terminals will have, which probably will be a subject of intense longshore union contract talks.
The number of trade-related jobs in Southern California has increased to 640,000, according to economist John Husing, but that's still short of the 709,000 jobs before the recession in 2007.