Cargo is all about TEUs. The Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit
is the approximate volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1 m) intermodal cargo
container, a standard-sized metal box which can be easily transferred
between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and
trucks. TEUs are used to describe the capacity of container ships and
If combined, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles would be the
worldâ€™s sixth-busiest port complex (11.8 million total TEU). In laymanâ€™s
terms, it means 11.8 million containers pass through the ports each
year. Some ships that dock in the Port of Los Angeles tie up at modern
piers and unload their cargo directly onto a rail network. Others tie up
at older piers, where the cargo must be loaded onto trucks. The trucks
then haul the containers 24 miles up the 710 Freeway
to BNSF Railwayâ€™s Hobart facility, where they are loaded onto trains
and transferred across the nation. Wooo! Hoooo! This is exciting stuff!
BNSF Railways of Dallas has a plan to significantly shorten the haul
for 1.5 million of those containers each year > itâ€™s called the
Southern California International Gateway. It will link to the new
millennium Alameda corridor train line, which can handle significantly
more volume than the 40 trains that currently pass daily. FYI, Each
train that's loaded equals around 280 trucks.
The Primary Project Area is 153-acre swath of land extends from
Sepulveda Blvd. to the north, Pacific Coast Highway to the south, the
Dominguez Channel to the west, and the Terminal Island Freeway to the
east. The Southern California International Gateway would be for train
loading and unloading, overall site management and administrative
support activities. At present, the land is generally used for cross
docking (cargo transfer from one mode of transportation to another mode,
such as from a container to a trailer. ), warehousing, and container
and/or trailer maintenance servicing and storage. Good to know.
BNSF has proposed a plan for more on-dock rail loading, which loads
the containers onto rail closer to the ports, shortening truck trips,
creating less traffic and promoting cleaner air and hopefully making
life a bit more pleasant for the 9,818,605 +/- people who live in L.A.
County. The project has bumped along through political red tape for
seven years without being either approved or rejected. Seriously.
Southern California International Gateway facility will vie for LEED
qualification. Among many green features the site promotes are wide-span
mounted electric cranes that produce zero emissions and less noise, as
well as low-emissions locomotives. On the downside, the Sepulveda
Bridge would need to be rebuilt.
The Southern California International Gateway would stimulate trade
and 1,500 union jobs for the construction of the $500-million rail
loading yard. The deal is worth an estimated $255 million in wages for
the three-year construction period. In the long run, operations would be
hundreds of jobs. Pundits believe the indirect impact of improved
transportation and efficiency at the port could produce as many as
22,000 more jobs over the long term.
The Southern California International Gateway is the obvious next
phase of the build-out surrounding Pier S > the $650 million green
container shipping depot on Terminal Island at the Port of Long Beach.
This terminal is expected to showcase sustainable goods movement and
generate up to 40,000 jobs in the region.
Southern California International Gateway is heralded to be â€œthe
greenest intermodal facility in the nation.â€ A bold claim. If they can
green up the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which are the busiest
in the country, then all ports become viable for greening.
The plan â€œallows us to bring containers from the port in an environmentally friendly way,â€ notes the BNSF spokesperson.
Founded in 1911, the 3,200-acre POLB is a premier gateway for trade
between the United States and Asia. Today, the POLBâ€™s loaded containers
account for 1/3 of containers moving through all California ports, 1/4
moving through all West Coast ports and nearly 1 in 5 moving through all
Check out the BNSF Southern California International Gateway promotional video: