The Port of Hueneme near Ventura County Naval Base pulled in roughly $14.3 million in total gross revenue for 2014—its highest annual revenue number since its inception in 1937, according to a draft audit report.
The report was submitted to the port’s Board of Harbor Commissioners on Dec. 8 and indicates that the Port of Hueneme had its second-best performing year for volume in its history, bringing in about 1.42 million tons this past fiscal year. While this actually marks a one percent decrease in volume from last year, the port’s total revenue rose 7.5 percent from last year, increasing from $13.3 million last year to $14.3 million for the 2014 fiscal year.
Its net assets for the year increased by 6.2 percent in 2014, down from the 12.7 percent growth seen in 2013.
In a statement, the port attributed its record-breaking gains to overall improvements in the economy, as the unemployment rate generally continues to decline, as well as to its wide range of clientele, shipments and their respective business efforts.
“This growth stems from our economic rebound as the country continues to climb its way out of the recession coupled with a diversification of cargo handled at the Port,” the statement explains. “Port customers employing innovative and creative strategies tapped new market opportunities to realize increases in cargo activity.”
Such strategies include the efforts of companies like Chiquita, which has been utilizing containerized operations, and auto carriers that have attracted more business through their transporting of project cargo along with high and heavy equipment, according to the company statement.
Earlier this year, representatives from the port were intertwined in a political battle over Measure M, which would have raised business taxes for large companies at the port and nearby naval base. Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney, who oversees port activities, told the Business Times in September that the new taxes would’ve made the area less desirable to potential clients. Keeping an open business environment, along with other efforts, have helped bring in the huge profits seen in 2014, Rooney said in a statement from the port.
“The numbers tell a very positive story about the port’s financial performance,” she said. “Our team has worked very hard to keep expenses low as we continue to work through hard financial times. Over the past few years, everyone made sacrifices working through budget cuts without jeopardizing productivity.”
In light of its increased output, the port’s operating expenses in 2014 rose by $500,000, or 5.6 percent higher than last year, the report states. Funds that will go toward projects for the 2015 fiscal year include $6.3 million toward port capital improvements, $1.1 million to infrastructure projects, $3.6 million to security projects and $1.6 million for life cycle projects; funds come from federal and state grants as well as the port’s general fund.