How can I get a job at the Port?
Eighty-five percent of the positions at the Long Beach Harbor Department -- the city department that manages the Port of Long Beach -- are filled through the Long Beach Civil Service Department.

These government jobs include administrative, planning, engineering, security and maintenance positions. To obtain information on Harbor Department job openings click here

Most of the jobs on the docks and inside the shipping terminals are union jobs -- positions represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

Longshore workers are employed by a group representing the terminal operators and shipping lines called the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

In August 2004, more than 300,000 people submitted their names to the PMA for a random drawing to select 3,000 part-time or "casual" workers with the ILWU. That pool of workers was later expanded to 5,000 people who are first in line for new union jobs on the docks.

For more information, contact the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, or the Pacific Maritime Association.

How is the development and maintenance of the Port financed?
Shipping terminal leases are the principal source of revenue for the Long Beach Harbor Department.

These Port revenues pay the wages of Harbor Department employees, and they are reinvested in the maintenance and development of Port facilities.

How is the Port cleaning harbor waters?
Dredging of the harbor floor has removed much of the contaminated sediments over the years.

In the last decade, the Port has developed and administered an award-winning storm water pollution prevention program to minimize runoff of contaminants into harbor waters.

How is the Port governed?
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, whose five members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council, governs the Harbor District, which includes the Port.

In 1911, the state Legislature approved a Tideland’s grant to Long Beach, giving the city the right to manage and develop the Harbor District for commerce, navigation, fisheries and recreation. In 1931, the Long Beach City Charter established the boundaries of the Harbor District and created the Harbor Commission to set policy and the Long Beach Harbor Department to carry out those policies. Each year, the City Council approves the Harbor Department’s annual budget.

How is the Port managing its growth?
The Port is improving shipping terminal efficiency by consolidating and reconfiguring existing terminals so there is room for growing cargo volumes.

The Port is investing millions to improve Port roadways and bridges to accommodate growth.

How successful is the effort to expand the hours of operations at Port shipping terminals?
Currently the Port’s privately operated container cargo terminals operate around the clock to work ships at berth. The terminal truck’s gates typically open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays because that’s when importers, exporters and warehouses are open for business.

As importers, exporters and warehouses expand their hours of operation, so will shipping terminals. But the shift to 24/7 operations will take several years

If the Port is a department of the City of Long Beach, does it receive tax revenues?
No. Port operations are not financed with tax revenues. In accordance with the state Tidelands Trust, Port funds are earned from commerce that moves through the Port.

Long Beach is a “landlord port,” which means that the Board of Harbor Commissioners leases Port facilities to private companies (shipping lines and cargo-handling firms) who then contract with union Longshore workers to operate the shipping terminals.

Is it possible for the size of the Port to grow indefinitely?
No, the physical size of the Port cannot grow indefinitely.

The Harbor District that encompasses the Port will not be expanded beyond its current boundaries. Even growth within the Harbor District is constrained by the practical restraints of today’s environmental protection regulations. These limits mean that the physical expansion of Port land within the Harbor District is likely to end within the next two decades.

Is the Port of Long Beach the biggest in the world?
No. If you combine the number of cargo containers shipped through Long Beach with that of its separately operated next-door neighbor -- the Port of Los Angeles -- the San Pedro Bay ports would rank as the world’s third busiest container cargo ports after only Hong Kong and Singapore.

Long Beach is the second busiest container seaport in the United States, after only Los Angeles.

Is there a limit to Port cargo growth?
There is a limit to the Port’s physical expansion. But ports overseas, operating with much less land than Long Beach, are moving more cargo.

 So cargo growth here is possible indefinitely as long as consumer demand for imports continues to grow, and as long as we can find ways to efficiently use the Port and regional infrastructure to accommodate this growth.

Is there anything the Port can do to improve air quality?
The Port is requiring its tenants to reduce emissions from terminal equipment within the next five years.

The Port is offering $1 million in incentives for the terminals to install exhaust treatment devices, and to use cleaner-burning diesel fuels. The Port itself is switching to low- and zero-emission vehicles. 

What else can the Port do to curtail truck traffic?
As Southern California’s population and economy grows, so will truck traffic.

The Port is encouraging more efficient use of the existing freeway network by sponsoring truck appointment systems to spread traffic flow throughout the day. The Port is also urging importers and exporters to operate at night and during weekends when freeways are less congested.

What is the difference between the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles?
The two ports, located side-by-side in San Pedro Bay, are operated separately -- one by the City of Long Beach and the other by the City of Los Angeles.

The two ports compete for business, but have cooperated on joint rail and other infrastructure projects.



What is the Port doing to ease traffic in and outside the Harbor District?
The Port is promoting operational changes such as on-dock railyards, which allow cargo to be transferred from ships to trains within the Port.

Long Beach has been a pioneer in the use of waterfront railyards to eliminate thousands of truck trips each day from the highway network.

 Roughly 25 percent of all Port cargo moves to and from the waterfront via the newly opened Alameda Corridor freight rail expressway. The Corridor also eliminated 200 street-level railroad crossings that delayed motorists in communities throughout Southeast Los Angeles County.

What’s the difference between the Port of Long Beach and the Long Beach Harbor Department?
The Port of Long Beach and the Long Beach Harbor Department are one and the same.

The Port is managed as a department of the City of Long Beach. Internationally, the Harbor Department is known as the Port of Long Beach. This title is consistent with other U.S. and world ports such as the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Oakland, and the Port of New York/New Jersey.

Where can I learn more about the Port?
Go to the Port’s web site at www.polb.com.

Where is the Carnival Cruise Lines boarding terminal?

The Carnival cruise terminal is located next to the Queen Mary, inside the dome that was formerly home to Howard Hughes Spruce Goose flying boat.

For directions, click here.

Why is Port cargo growing so rapidly?
Cargo traffic is growing because of consumer demand for goods made in Asia keeps growing. Asia is the world’s leading manufacturing center for products such as clothing, toys, shoes, home furnishings and electronics. The United States is the world’s leading consuming nation.

The Port is a leading gateway for this U.S.-Asia trade.

Why is the Port important?
The Port is a major transportation and trade center, providing the shipping terminals for nearly one-third of the waterborne trade moving through the West Coast.

Nearly $96 billion in trade moved through the Port of Long Beach in 2003. Port-related activities support 320,000 jobs and nearly $15 billion in wages in Southern California.

Show all CategoriesBack