The French-based shipping line CMA CGM has purchased a stake in the facility's Pier J, the company's first investment in a port on the West Coast. The addition will mean more container traffic and an increase in port revenue. The Port of Long Beach is undergoing a $4.5 billion facelift that includes upgrades to terminals, rail facilities, and infrastructure (here's the release). CMA CGM is the third largest container company in the world, using 400 ports in 150 countries. Actually, it's been in some hot water with U.S. officials over weapons smuggling involving Iran. From the Jerusalem Post:
In December , Rep. Peter King (R-New York) wrote to Philippe Soulié, CEO of the shipping company. King said he was "deeply concerned" about the French firm's trade relationship with the regime in Iran. King is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. A few weeks earlier, the company's MV Everest container ship was seized off the Nigerian coast, fully loaded with Iranian weapons. King warned the shipping company against half-heartedly monitoring its freight in light of international sanctions. In a letter made available to the Post, he said the shipper should expect "severe penalties" in the United States. Soulié wrote in response that the MV Everest had been chartered by a company that did not appear on the US Treasury's sanctions list.