Mayor urges state to cement L.A./Long Beach port, logistics center link
City officials of Victorville, home to the massive Southern California Logistics Airport, told state lawmakers last week that if solutions such as the SCLA are not fully utilized, jobs in the Southern California trade industry would be headed for Mexico.
'If we don't help relieve the congestion in the port of Long Beach, then the port will be at capacity,' Victorville mayor Terry Caldwell told lawmakers. 'And the jobs and economic opportunity that is the result of an ever-growing volume of goods coming from China will go elsewhere ' and most likely they'll go to Mexico.'
Caldwell and other city leaders spoke to members of the state Legislature and California cabinet-level officials while attending the California Republican Convention last weekend in Sacramento.
A $1.2 billion deepwater port in the works in Baja California, 120 miles south of Tijuana at Punta Colonet, could take the pressure off the ever-increasing cargo coming into the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, Caldwell said. While there will probably be enough cargo to fill all three ports to capacity, Caldwell and others said they would prefer to keep the jobs in the United States by turning the SCLA into an integral part of the California ports.
One way to do that, Caldwell said, is to use the SCLA as a container collection point for empty containers returning to the Southern California ports from around the nation. This would free up valuable land at the ports and improve their efficiency.
Located on the site of a former Air Force base in the high desert 50 miles north of Los Angeles, the SCLA is a developing air-truck-rail-manufacturing center covering more than 5,000 acres.