Citing Stiffer Competition, Port Panel OKs Budget Cuts

Reflecting increased competition in the shipping industry and the port's ongoing effort to cut costs, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission has adopted a $317-million budget for the 1998-99 fiscal year, $49 million less than last year's budget.

"The new fiscal budget strongly reflects the management practices required to succeed in the present-day environment of extremely fierce competition," said Leland Wong, president of the Harbor Commission.

Because of consolidation of shipping companies and the competition among ports to attract customers, harbor revenues are not expected to rise as dramatically as in previous years. The port anticipates that total revenue will be about $207 million for fiscal year 1998, a 4.6% increase over last year.

Operating expenses are projected to be $100.1 million for fiscal year 1998, a $7-million cost reduction compared with 1997.

About $194 million will be available for capital improvement projects such as deepening the main channel to 50 feet and construction of a 315-acre container terminal at Pier 400. The capital budget for last year was about $209 million.

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