Effective from July 1, the budget anticipates a 5.3% decrease in operating revenues and, in turn, targets a 15% drop in operating expenditures during the coming year.
“This budget represents a balanced, fiscally responsible plan with resources dedicated to our primary goals for the year ahead,” said Port executive director Geraldine Knatz.
“In addition to internal communications and workforce development improvements, our priorities are focused on keeping revenue-generating capital projects on schedule; retaining and attracting new business; and seeking new sources of public and private funding for our construction, security, transportation, community and environmental initiatives.”
Commission President, Cindy Miscikowski, praised the Harbour Department for its ability to remain fiscally strong and competitive during the economic downturn. The Port maintains an “AA” bond rating (the highest rating of any US port without taxing authority) and has maintained its national and west coast market share at 20% and almost 36% respectively during the global recession.
“I’m pleased that over the past fiscal year we’ve been able to retain market share, build infrastructure that is critical to our future success, offer incentives to help our customers and continue to reduce air pollution through various initiatives,” Miscikowski said.
She added that the newly approved budget, which includes a capital budget of US$266.3m and operating expenses of US$221.3m with total operating revenues projected at US$373.4m, would once again require “discipline and focus” in terms of using resources wisely.
Capital Improvement projects for the coming year include US$40m for the development and expansion of the TraPac Container Terminal, which includes a 60-acre terminal expansion and construction of an on-dock rail facility, a new wharf and Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) shore-side electric power for ships.
Approximately US$33m has been allocated for the China Shipping terminal project, which includes a 35-acre expansion, a new wharf and also AMP facilities.
Other budget highlights include US$25m for channel deepening, with similar amounts being allocated for surface transportation projects and a variety of Port security projects.
With customer retention and attraction a top priority, the budget includes approximately US$5m for customer discounts, incentives and efforts aimed at highlighting the Port’s competitive advantages, strengthening relations with existing customers and securing new customers and business segments.
More than US$17m has been allocated for four environmental initiatives, including the clean truck, vessel speed reduction and technology advancement programmes, as well as water quality and climate action projects.