News | USC Students Tour the Port of Long Beach During 2023 IAME Conference

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USC Students Tour the Port of Long Beach During 2023 IAME Conference

Thursday, October 26, 2023

by Dolores Rodriguez

A group of USC Price School of Public Policy students on the boat tour. 

A group of 14 USC students traveled to Long Beach on September 8, 2023 to attend the last day of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) conference and a harbor boat tour of the Port of Long Beach (POLB). Students toured POLB’s 25-mile waterfront and had the opportunity to examine the containers, cargo ships, and machinery used in the port’s day-to-day operations.


The tour introduced attendees to some of the Port’s extensive environmental efforts, such as the Clean Air Action Plan, Shore Power Program, and Clean Trucks Program. Students also learned about POLB’s dockage incentives, which rewards vessel operators with dockage rate reductions when their vessels slow down to 12 knots or less when approaching the harbor entrance. This strategy reduces smog-forming emissions and has been highly successful with more than 90% of vessels participating in the program. Tour attendees also learned about the Port’s marine wildlife protection efforts and even stopped by one of the harbor islands which serves as a sanctuary for local birds and other at-risk wildlife.


USC Price School of Public Policy students Tangguh Adiwiguno (left) and Gilang Desnantia (right) pose in

front of a container crane. Photo courtesy of Dolores Rodriguez.


Students also observed operations at the Long Beach Container Terminal, a fully automated container terminal that features cargo handling equipment powered by electricity and low-emission fuels. According to a press release from POLB, the terminal handles up to 3.3 million 20-foot containers annually and can process 12,000-15,000 20-foot containers per acre, while a non-automated terminal can only handle 6,000-8,000 containers per acre.


First-year Masters of Urban Planning student, Gavin Derleth, expressed how grateful he was to participate in a tour specifically catered to maritime professionals and urban planning students. “It is incredible to see the cargo ships so up close and to learn about all that goes into making sure a port is running smoothly and efficiently. I was glad to learn about the port’s commitment to protecting the Long Beach community and all of their environmental efforts.”


METRANS would like to thank the Quinlan family for sponsoring this student event.