Port of San Diego Terminal Construction Project to Improve Operations, Increase Cargo Space

Published Feb 13, 2013 1:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

When it comes to maritime cargo operations, the Port of San Diego has a significant edge over many other West Coast ports. Its two marine cargo terminals are located in a natural harbor with deep water berths, are within close proximity to Mexico and South America, and both terminals have on-dock rail service.

The Port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, located in the city of San Diego, has one of the West Coast’s very few on-dock cold storage warehouses. The 300,000-square-foot facility is operated by Harborside Refrigerated Services and keeps tens of thousands of tons of perishable cargo fresh.

At the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port receives about 185 million bananas a month through its business with Dole Fresh Fruit Company. In August 2012, the Port signed a new lease with Dole that will allow imports of bananas and other perishables to continue for another 24 ½ years.

Other cargo received at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal includes cement, bauxite, fertilizer, sand, fuel and large project cargo such as machinery, steel and windmill components. The terminal has become a hub for windmill components and receives shipments from Asia, Europe and South America.

The Port will soon start a construction project at its Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal that will improve operations and increase the space for large project cargo and wind energy components. Offices and warehouse sheds that are no longer required for commercial purposes will be demolished and various other improvements will provide flexible and functional open cargo storage areas.

Improved cargo movement and berthing flexibility are two of the main advantages of the project. It will also result in additional cargo loading and offloading space and a more efficient cargo path from the berth to the open storage area.

This project will modernize the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal to meet the needs of contemporary and future cargo types, such as clean energy machinery, wind energy parts and turbines.

The total work area encompasses approximately 1.8 acres of building footprint. In addition to the demolition of the structures, the project will install asphalt pavement and additional lighting in the area.

The Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal was built in the late 1950s and was initially used to ship a wide range of commodities requiring covered warehouse space, including baled cotton, cotton seed, animal hides, newsprint, bulk copper ore, livestock, tallow and molasses. Shippers’ needs have now changed; the larger project cargo does not need to be in covered warehouses, but requires a greater amount of laydown area.

Construction is anticipated to begin in late February and should be complete by September 2013. The total estimated cost for the project is $3 million.

The Port’s other marine terminal, located in National City, receives automobile imports and lumber from the Pacific Northwest. One in 10 imported cars on America’s highways came through National City.

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