By Patricia Farris News Review Publisher
At Tuesday’s Kern County Board of Supervisors regular board meeting, the board took decisive action of issuing a proclamation to support the approved site plans for the Mojave Inland Port.
The votes were by Supervisors Zack Scrivner, David Couch and Phillip Peters. Supervisors Michael Maggard and Leticia Perez were absent.
The first-of-its-kind facility will significantly reduce supply chain pressure at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and provide an annual economic benefit of half a billion dollars, locally and statewide. The Mojave Inland Port will be situated 90 miles from the San Pedro Bay, allowing goods to arrive by rail from nearby ports more efficiently and to be redirected to their final destinations more quickly.
“The Mojave Inland Port is a fully permitted industrial site that will provide a solution for California goods movement at the ports,” said Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County Director of Planning. “From providing the green energy California needs to the new world of CCS and Carbon Management industries, as well as providing the most environmentally protective oil and gas permitting, Kern County is the place for the solutions California needs for economic growth.”
The applicant is Pioneer Partners 2000, LLC who are owners of an approved site plan, according to Oviatt.
According to a recent press release, this project could not come at a better time, with annual container volume expected to increase from 20 million containers today to 34 million by 2030—even if Gulf and Atlantic ports upgrade. The Mojave Inland Port will be a critical relief valve, absorbing a significant portion of this increased traffic and processing it in a more efficient, environmentally friendly, and less disruptive way.
This project has the added upside of enabling Kern County to stake out a position as a key shipping center capable of attracting large retail and distribution businesses to invest in the area surrounding the Mojave Inland Port, paving the way for sustained economic growth.
Scrivner said he is excited to have this project in his district.
“I see this as a win-win across the board. This development isn’t just about the movement of goods, it’s about the promise of opportunity,” Scrivner said.
Morgan Hill spoke to the board representing the project. He said, “After consulting with an economic impact firm, Pioneer projects that the port could ultimately have an economic impact in excess of $500 million, and the county could get something like $73 million annually in taxes form the project. This could support as many as 3000 jobs with a annual labor income of $206 million.
“The Port of Long Beach has seen record container traffic in recent years, which shows no sign 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, there is limited real estate available. The Mojave Inland Port is the type of innovative solution that will alleviate congestion and allow dockworkers to do their jobs more efficiently, getting goods to businesses and consumers faster. It will also ensure the Port of Long Beach can adapt to growing demand and continue to be an engine of economic growth.”
“We want to thank the State, Kern County, the federal government, and all of our supporters and stakeholders for helping to make the dream of an inland port in Mojave a reality,” said Richard Kellogg, Chair of Pioneer Partners. “This one-of-a-kind project will help unsnarl the 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 through job creation. Goods will get to businesses and consumers faster and more efficiently. We can’t wait to get started.”
It is estimated that the Mojave Inland Port will have the capacity to handle approximately three million containers per year. Containers will be offloaded from ships onto shuttle trains for direct transport through the underutilized Alameda Corridor directly to Mojave, where they will be distributed. This will also result in an economic benefit of more than $100 million along the Alameda Corridor.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy on Tuseday released this statement:
“As California and the United States continue to reel from the current supply chain crisis, it is critical that business are able to send and receive goods and products through West Coast ports in a timely and efficient manor. Mojave has been a leader in commercial space breakthroughs. With this proposed inland port that the county is considering, it is well-positioned to be a leader in goods movement to help support our local communities and the broader economy.”
Located on more than 400 acres immediately adjacent to the Mojave Air & Space Port, a fully operational airport open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a 12,500-foot heavy lift runway, capable of accommodating the largest commercial cargo aircraft, the inland port will have ample space to process these containers. The site is served directly by rail and by two major highways, State Highways 14 and 58. It is the largest site in California operated by all three modes of transport— road, rail, and air —and is among the largest in the United States. Furthermore, once completed the Mojave Inland Port will also be one of the rare hubs in the entire world that can offer transportation options of rail, rubber-tire, air, and space.
The Mojave Inland Port will break ground in 2023 and will be fully operational in 2024.