Excerpted from Capitol Weekly,
Ports in Canada, Mexico and the Gulf states are boosting capacity as the Panama Canal nears completion of a $5.25 billion widening that allows the world’s largest cargo ships to bypass the West Coast.
Ten years ago, Long Beach and Los Angeles received more than 56 percent of Pacific Rim cargo containers. Now it’s 48 percent and falling.
California also has tougher environmental standards than most other state and countries as well as congested highways and high land prices. Of the cargo that is unloaded there, 40 percent could be easily diverted elsewhere, port operators say.
Environmental mitigation requirements imposed by the Air Resources Board and other regulators has added $5 billion to port operational costs, according to the merchant shipping association.