The Port of Long Beach’s outstanding debt has received a top mark by one of the top credit analysis agencies in the United States, port officials announced Thursday.
Fitch Ratings gave the port an “AA” rating, the highest rating for U.S. ports, because of the port’s strong market position, resilient, long-term revenues from port tenants and the port’s robust ability to repay its debt, according to a release from the port.
“The rating agency reported that the Port’s $3.2 billion capital improvement program through fiscal year 2026 ensures a competitive position in the future,” the release stated. “‘Strong and financial metrics’ and ‘considerable liquidity’ are expected throughout the plan’s duration.”
The rating grade was given for the port’s $867.6 million in outstanding bonds and on existing, yet-to-be issued $325 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan.
“The ratings come as the Port continues to enhance its status as a preferred gateway for Asia-U.S. trade with capital improvement projects such as the Middle Harbor terminal, which opened in April,” the release stated. “The facility, the most advanced and greenest in the Western Hemisphere, can handle some of the largest container ships sailing the seas. Also, the Port is replacing the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge, which connects the Port’s largest container terminal with the regional highway system, with a 205-foot-tall bridge to accommodate larger ships.”
The port has 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, according to port officials. Supporting hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs, the port handles $180 billion in trade annually.