An inland port project in the Mojave Desert could help unravel the nation’s best port complex
As annual container volumes in the United States are expected to increase over the next decade, an inland port project in California’s Mojave Desert seeks to serve as a relief valve for congestion at the country’s main port complex.
The project is called Mojave Inland Port, a proposed 3 million container-per-year inland port located 90 miles from San Pedro Bay, allowing goods to arrive by rail from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. and redirected to their final destinations.
According to the project developer, private holding company Pioneer Partners, the port is the only fully licensed inland port in California.
On Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation in support of the approved site plan, clearing the way for Pioneer Partners to obtain building permits for the next phase of the development. With the support of local regulators working to transform the county into a key industrial hub, the proclamation gives the project new momentum.
Located on more than 400 acres immediately adjacent to the Mojave Air and Spaceport, the site will provide access to rail, two major highways and an airport capable of handling commercial cargo aircraft. Containers will be offloaded from ships onto shuttle trains for direct transport through the Alameda Corridor, directly to Mojave, where they will be distributed. The project also promises to remove thousands of trucks from the 710 corridor, significantly reducing emissions from nearby neighborhoods.
According to project funders, the Mojave Inner Harbor will bring substantial economic benefits, including $500 million in annual economic development for California and approximately $100 million in increased revenue for the Alameda Corridor, in addition to $80 million in tax revenue.
“This one-of-a-kind project will help ease congestion in the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach; it will help the national economy by reducing pressure on the supply chain; it will help the local economy by creating jobs,” said Richard Kellogg, president of Pioneer Partners. “Goods will get to businesses and consumers faster and more efficiently. We can’t wait to get started.
Currently, 20 million containers are handled annually by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, making them the country’s main gateway for containerized imports from Asia. But that number is expected to reach over 30 million by 2030.
“The Port of Long Beach has seen record container traffic in recent years, which shows no signs of slowing down,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “Being surrounded by the dense urban areas of Long Beach and South Los Angeles, available real estate is limited. Mojave’s Inland Port is the kind of innovative solution that will reduce congestion and allow dockworkers to do their jobs more efficiently, getting goods to businesses and consumers faster. »
Pioneer Partners hopes to innovate in 2023 and aims for full operations by 2024.
Inland ports are used in some international ports, including Rotterdam, London and Singapore. In the United States, “pop-up” container parks have proven somewhat effective in relieving congestion, notably at the Port of Savannah last fall.
“Inland ports are an essential part of the future balance of our supply chain. They can provide flexibility and efficiency, while relieving traffic congestion at critical points,” said Trelynd Bradley, deputy director of freight and supply chain sustainability at the Governor of California’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “We appreciate the work Pioneer’s Mojave Inland Port proposal has done to help find new solutions to our supply chain challenges. We look forward to working with them and others to ensure that people across the state and country have access to the goods they need.