Port of Long Beach, California
Richard D. Steinke, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, California, came to the Port in 1990 and was appointed to his current post in December 1997 by the Board of Harbor Commissioners, the Port's five-member governing body.
Under Mr. Steinke's leadership, the Port nearly doubled cargo volume and launched a $4-billion capital improvement program to strengthen the regional economy and create jobs, while cementing the Port's competitive position among the world's leading ports. During his tenure, the Port responded to post 9/11 security issues and emerged a leader in security facilities, procedures and technology benefitting the entire region.
Partnerships and collaborations are hallmarks of Mr. Steinke's leadership style, and enabled him to steer the Port through the complex process of winning approval for the $1 billion Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, which will create one of the most efficient and greenest terminals in the world, and the $950 million Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, which will assure safe access in and out of the nation's leading port complex.
Working with a top-notch professional team, he transitioned the Port, making it both a builder of modern cargo terminals and a leading environmental steward. He implemented a pioneering Green Port Policy in 2005 that included the extremely successful Clean Trucks Program, which set in motion a sweeping modernization of the truck fleet by reducing pollution from short-haul trucks. The Clean Trucks Program met its goal to reduce truck emissions by 80 percent two years ahead of schedule and is now continuing with new clean-air goals. The Clean Trucks Program earned the 2010 Model Community Achievements Award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
With Mr. Steinke fostering partnerships within the industry, the Port’s Green Flag Program recently received the National Association of Environmental Professionals Environmental Management Award. The program encourages ships and vessel operators to voluntarily slow down to 12 knots or less within 20 miles of the harbor, which greatly reduces fuel consumption and air pollution. Vessels that achieve compliance receive the prestigious Green Flag to fly.
Since 2005, the Green Port Policy has become a way of life at the Port and a consideration in all day-to-day decisions.
As the Port’s chief executive, Mr. Steinke also successfully directed the redevelopment of the 500-acre, former Long Beach Naval Complex on Terminal Island into shipping terminals. The key component, a 375-acre complex leased to Hanjin Shipping Co., opened in September 2002 and is one of the largest container terminals in the world. He led negotiations that culminated in a 25-year lease with Hanjin under which the South Korean shipping company pays the Port at least $40 million a year or a total of at least $1 billion over the life of the lease.
Before being named Executive Director, Mr. Steinke was Deputy Executive Director of the Port for two years. In that capacity, he oversaw the Port's functions of transportation, environmental and long-range planning; construction, design and traffic engineering; marketing and customer development; real estate management and community, media and public relations.
Mr. Steinke also served as the Port’s Properties Director for five years. In that capacity, he negotiated leases and other real estate agreements with Port customers and directed the wharfinger office, which is responsible for the day-to-day operations and enforcement of the Port tariff.
While Properties Director, he was instrumental in negotiating the successful 1994 purchase of 725 acres of north harbor land and water area from Union Pacific Resources Company (UPRC). In September 1997, Hanjin opened a $277 million, 170-acre terminal on part of the property. That Pier A terminal was Hanjin’s home until it moved to its new Terminal Island facility.
His leadership extends throughout the U.S. port industry. He has been the chief spokesman for the U.S. West Coast Collaboration, a partnership of West Coast ports and the major western railroads. He has been chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities, an alliance of more than 150 port authorities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, and the California Association of Port Authorities. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Joint Powers Authority, the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, the Intermodal Transportation Institute, St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, and he is a member of the Red Cross CEO Advisory Committee.
Before joining the Port Mr. Steinke served five years as Airport Property Officer at Stapleton International Airport in his native Denver, Colorado. A graduate of Chadron State College in Nebraska, he has completed post-graduate work at the University of Colorado.
Mr. Steinke, his wife, Tamy, and their three daughters, Sarah, Kylie Marie and Lauren, reside in Long Beach.
Marking 100 years of service to the community in 2011, the Port of Long Beach enters its second century as one of the world's premier seaports, a primary gateway for transpacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety and environmental stewardship. The Port is served by 140 shipping lines with connections to 27 seaports around the world. Customer and community service is at the core of the Port’s operations. Environmental agencies have acknowledged the Port for its landmark green initiatives, and industry leaders named the Port of Long Beach the World’s Greenest Port in 2011 and Best Seaport in North America for 14 of the past 16 years. A major economic engine for the region, the Port handles trade valued at more than $140 billion each year and supports hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.