The International Transportation Service terminal on Pier G can now move hundreds of thousands more shipping containers each year following the completion of a wharf expansion.

The $55 million project added 240 feet of wharf that will allow for the terminal to accept bigger ships carrying up to 16,000 20-foot-equivalent units—the standard measure of a shipping container. According to ITS CEO Kim Holtermand, the expansion will allow ITS to move upward of 300,000 more TEUs every year.

“It’s actually only a 1% increase of our yard,” Holtermand said during a press conference Thursday. “But it’s a huge boost for the fluidity, for the volume. It’s fantastic.”

ITS recently purchased five container cranes, Holtermand said, adding that the terminal is dedicated to remaining powered by humans while others shift more operations to automated equipment.

The project included the demolition of the existing wharf, dredging and driving 185 100-foot-long piles, according to Tasha Higgins, director of program management for the port. Two acres of backlands were added to increase the terminal’s storage capacity.

The terminal’s infrastructure also had to be updated to accommodate the larger cranes needed to service bigger ships, Higgins said, as well as ship-to-shore power, drainage systems, lighting, fencing, signage and stripping.

The project was constructed by a joint venture between Brea-based Griffith Company and San Rafael-based Dutra Group. While the companies did not move heaven to complete the expansion, they did move earth, including 175,000 cubic tons of quarry rock, 7,500 cubic yards of soil, 23,000 tons of aggregate, 12,000 tons of armor rock, 5,600 tons of crushed miscellaneous base and 4,000 tons of asphalt, according to Higgins.

“ITS has been a port tenant for more than 50 years and we’re excited to be celebrating the completion of … the terminal improvement project,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon Weissman said.

Long Beach and labor leaders sign a new 10-year project labor agreement between the Port of Long Beach and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council Thursday, March 9, 2023. Pictured from left: port Executive Director Mario Cordero, Mayor Rex Richardson, Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon Weissman and Chris Hannan of the trades council. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

In addition to the expansion project, city, port and labor leaders celebrated a 10-year project labor agreement between the port and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents over 140,000 members across 48 affiliate organizations. The parties previously had a five-year agreement with a two-year extension, Weissman said.

The agreement, valued at $5 million or more, was approved by the Harbor Commission in January. On Wednesday, Cordero, Weissman, Mayor Rex Richardson and trades council Executive Secretary Chris Hannan signed the agreement that ensures all workers—unionized or not—receive a prevailing wage.

The PLA also requires 40% of work to be performed by local residents and ensures major infrastructure projects at the port won’t face stoppages, strikes or lockouts, according to port officials.

“I want to thank [the port] for entrusting in the Building Trades for the next 10 years,” Hannan said, “and the sweat equity of all our members to continue to deliver the infrastructure that not only this port needs, but this country needs to continue to be competitive and continue to be a leader.”

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.