Port of Long Beach officials and executives from the shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line formally signed off on the port's biggest ever lease agreement. The ceremony took place in Hong Kong on Tuesday, but port officials didn't announce it until Wednesday afternoon.
The agreement commits OOCL to a $4.6-billion, 40-year lease of the port's new Middle Harbor container terminal, which is under construction.
“I can’t overstate the significance of this agreement,” said J. Christopher Lytle, executive director of the nation's second-busiest cargo container port. “It is the largest and most far-reaching terminal lease ever at the Port of Long Beach.”
Port officials had announced the impending deal in January. The lease gives OOCL and its subsidiary, the Long Beach Container Terminal, exclusive use of the facility for 40 years. Port officials say that Middle Harbor will be their most advanced terminal, adding that it will employ technology designed to mitigate its environmental impact.