The Port of Long Beach has lately endured severe congestion, a dockworker shortage and torrential rain that damaged connecting rail lines. It was rewarded Friday with an improved outlook by Moody's Investors Service.
Moody's bumped up the port's long-term debt outlook to positive from stable, representing the rating service's assessment of the harbor's financial health.
Moody's also assigned a rating of Aa3 to the port's new California Harbor Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2005A and 2005B. The $248.4 million in Series 2005A bonds and $25.4 million in Series 2005B bonds have an expected sale date of Friday.
Moody's cited a number of factors in the port's favor, including its ability to lock major customers such as Hanjin Shipping Co. into 25-year leases. The port's expansion efforts have allowed it to accommodate the largest container vessels in use.