Port Hueneme, CA – On February 13, 2017, Community and Maritime dignitaries joined the Port of Hueneme’s Board of Harbor Commissioners Monday night to celebrate 25 years as a U.S. Port of Entry. The event took place prior to the scheduled Commissioner’s Board meeting at the Port’s headquarters in Port Hueneme. This milestone recognizes the historic impact the Port has brought to the region. In 1992 cargo transiting the Port called for the full-time presence of one Customs Inspector and two USDA Agricultural Inspectors. Today that federal presence has grown to seven full-time Customs Officers and three Agricultural Specialists.
President of the Board of Harbor Commissioners Jason Hodge commented,” As a Board, we are proud of the Port’s growth over the past 25 years, feeling it a tribute to the vision and leadership of not only our current leadership but that of so many past Commissioners whose collective vision helped make today’s Port a thriving reality.”
Attending the ceremony was U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port Director Keith Perteet who said, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection congratulates The Port of Hueneme on its 25th anniversary. From the time of designation in 1992, the Port and its customers have grown into a recognized revenue source of national importance with cargo volumes more than tripling over the past 25 years.”
Accompanying the increase in federal inspectors has been a more than threefold increase in cargo transiting the port. Total tonnage transiting the Port over the previous 25 years has more than tripled from 478,384 tons in 1992 to almost 1.5 million tons today. The Port of Hueneme consistently ranks amongst the top U.S. West Coast Ports for banana imports. Since 1978 when Del Monte started calling the Port, Hueneme has further developed over the years to become the hub for exports of many varieties of fresh fruit grown in Ventura County and the rest of the West Coast. Both global and local companies such as Chiquita, Del Monte, Mission Produce, Calavo, Westfalia Fruit, Five Diamond Cold Storage and Sun Fresh utilize the Port to reach foreign markets through Hueneme. Annually the Port handles over 688,000 tons of fresh fruit. Furthermore the Port is engaged in multinational Trade Missions to Promote U.S. exports to Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Central America to continue to grow this business and help the local agricultural community. For Yara, the Port also serves as the preferred Southern California hub for the import of liquid fertilizer which is used in local farming.
The Port of Hueneme is also the West Coast strategic Ro-Ro Port for automobiles and specialized high and heavy cargo projects. Automobile brands such as BMW, Volvo, Range Rover, Mitsubishi, Maserati, Kia, Hyundai General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Tesla make use of this efficient cargo operation where there is no congestion and focus is on the customers. In Fiscal Year 2016 over 300,000 autos were imported and 37,873 autos were exported through the Port of Hueneme, and these numbers represent the continuous growth in the Port’s automobile sector – 2016 was a record high year for cars imports and exports in the Port’s history.
The Port’s motto “We Make Cargo Move” speaks to its focus on specialized customer service, the lack of congestion and great cargo velocity that could not be achieved without the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Port’s partnership. With the strong vision of the Board of Harbor Commissioners and the collaborative relationships the Port has built with its stakeholders, the Port of Hueneme continues to increase velocity, while remaining a safe and sustainable gateway to the world, as the Ventura County’s Port of economic growth and opportunity.