At the Port of Hueneme Board Meeting of Monday, February 9, 2015, Board President Jess Herrera welcomed Senor Humberto Carlo Bonfante Olachethe, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development for the state of Baja California to the Port. Headquartered in Mexicali Baja California the Ministry promotes economic and cultural initiatives to strengthen the state’s economy.

President Herrera in his address stated, “Baja California is the front door to the Americas for trade with the US.” Thanking the Secretary for walking through the door to the Port of Hueneme, he added, “The Board looks forward to a long lasting partnership with the Ministry to further our mutual goals and support the communities we serve.”

Secretary Bonfante shared the State’s goals to develop energy efficient systems and modern transportation infrastructure for its rail, roadways and Port networks. According to the Secretary, Baja California plans to make significant investments to prosper economic growth and create jobs. To ensure prudent capital investments, the Ministry is building a business plan for the region’s Ports, including the Port of El Sauzal. As part of their strategic analysis, the Ministry performed a joint study with the Port of Hueneme to assess the potential of short sea shipping trade routes between the two Ports (Hueneme and El Sauzal). The study indicated that Port of El Sauzal is well positioned to handle niche port cargoes, including perishable goods and automobiles that are pillar cargoes at Hueneme. This finding brought the Secretary to the Port of Hueneme for a first visit. Conversations included continuing a collaborative relationship with the Port of Hueneme and El Sauzul to influence policy decisions and identify tangible markets for short sea shipping between the two ports.

Kristin Decas, Port Director and CEO, shared her appreciation of the Secretary’s visit noting, “We are most pleased to have worked with the Ministry on a report that points to new short sea trade opportunities with Baja California. The demonstrated commitment of the Secretary to partner with us is welcomed and we look forward to next steps to foster new trade and economic growth for our regions.”