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Port of Los Angeles ready for newer, larger container ships

Keywords: Tags  Port of Los Angeles, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, channel depth, container ships, Panama Canal, metal scrap shipments, automobiles, auto parts dredging

CHICAGO — The Port of Los Angeles and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leaders have marked the completion of a 10-year, $370-million dredging project to deepen the port’s Main Channel, West Basin Channel and East Basin Channel to 53 feet from 45 feet.

"Now that this dredging project is complete, (Los Angeles) will have the ability to accept new, larger cargo vessels," Rep. Janice Hahn (D., Calif.) said.

North American ports have been scrambling to develop and finance dredging projects to accommodate the supersized vessels that will be coming through an enlarged Panama Canal starting in about two years (, Feb. 6).

The Port of Los Angeles handled 195,845 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) of scrap metal and 318,808 TEUs of automotive parts last year, as well as 206,865 automobiles—a 5.7-percent increase over 2011. Container terminals generate about 74 percent of the port’s overall revenues.

The port also is in the midst of a five-year, $1.3-billion capital improvement program to modernize and upgrade the terminals, increase rail capacity and improve roadways in and around the port.

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