California Inland Port Project

California Inland Port Project - A Transformative Project for the State of California

At A Glance
A collaborative consortium of California partners has joined forces to analyze the feasibility of developing a new, inter-modal rail spine to connect seaports to key markets via the Central Valley. This California “Inland Port” system would cut greenhouse gases, significantly improve air quality, reduce road congestion, boost traffic safety, and advance California’s extraordinarily large intra-state freight movement system.

Given the scale of California’s market, its geographic proximity, and its seaport infrastructure, the California Inland Port would become a nationally significant logistics and economic development project; a key to advancing California’s ambitious climate, economy, and equity goals.

Project Stakeholders and Supporters
The primary stakeholders on this project represent a unique blend of public and private partners, all committed to increasing the competitiveness of the San Joaquin Valley: The Port of Los Angeles; The Port of Long Beach; Union Pacific Railroad; BNSF Railroad; The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District; South Coast Air Quality Management District; San Joaquin Valley Metropolitan Planning Organizations (Kern County, Kings County, Tulare County, Fresno County, Madera County, Stanislaus County, San Joaquin County); Sacramento County; Sacramento Council of Governments; Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District; and the Central Valley Community Foundation.

The project has received further support from the California State Transportation Agency, Governor Newsom’s Office of Planning and Research, California Air Resources Board, State and Valley Legislators, and private companies.

Project Objectives
The implementation of the inland port concept in California supports a wide range of State and local community public policy objectives, including a significant improvement in economic competitiveness, a substantial decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, and a sizable reduction in highway congestion.

The objectives of the California Inland Port are:

  • Support new job creation and investment growth by fundamentally repositioning the economic competitiveness of the San Joaquin Valley region.
  • Create a more robust and efficient distribution system with a specific focus on high-value manufacturing, e-commerce, and the agriculture sectors.
  • Reducing shipping costs for shippers that manage global supply chains through direct intermodal rail service to/from the San Pedro seaports.
  • Significantly reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the number of truck trips from the seaports complex in the Los Angeles region to the Central Valley and the Bay Area.
  • Reduce highway road congestion, with a parallel reduction in the requirement for road maintenance; accident-avoidance savings; all of this reducing cost.

Phase One Feasibility Study (completed in Spring 2020)
Phase One of this project analyzed the size of the market; reviewed the underlying truck versus rail transportation costs; and analyzed the reduction in criteria pollutants, fuel use, and GHG emissions.
Final Report

Phase Two Feasibility Study (currently underway)
Phase Two is developing market readiness and acceptance, estimating costs, developing a partnership with one or both Class One railroads, reviewing the economic competitiveness impact to the region, and understanding the environmental process to move forward. This phase is where the Executive Advisory Group (EAG) is formed, helping to inform decision making as the study moves forward. All major stakeholders will have a role in this group. The private sector, including major shippers and experts, will inform the EAG through a Shipper’s Committee.

Phase Two is fully funded and is proceeding through GLDPartners under the management of the Fresno Council of Governments.

This page will be updated with key project documents as the study progresses.

Caltrans Strategic Partnership Grant – Phase Three Feasibility Study (Awarded June 2021)
Phase Three will require a similar approach as used in the previous phases and will move the project forward to the delivery stage, utilizing the contribution and involvement by a range of partners and other stakeholders. Tasks will be sequenced to Phase Two so that there is a logical progression, culminating with clear direction to support advancing the project to delivery. Phase Three will specifically detail a Project Financial Performance Model, develop a Business Plan for Green, High-Efficiency Logistics/Investment Hubs Around Intermodal Facilities, plan for an Intermodal Facility Site Selection, develop Detailed Capital Cost Programs, deliver a Railroad Agreement to Collaborate, and develop Public-Private Delivery Options.

Phase Three has received a Caltrans Strategic Partnership grant for funding.
Grant Application

USDOT Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program (Awarded September 2021)
Utilizing the US Department of Transportation’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Program funding, the California Inland Port project would benefit from a partnership with the Build America Bureau and the US Department of Transportation, by specifically enhancing the pipeline of projects that may utilize the TIFIA and RRIF programs and create a foundation for leveraging substantial local and private co-investment. This phase would include design and preliminary engineering on the intermodal hub(s) and TradePort district(s), conducting environmental analyses, developing the aforementioned project pipeline for project funding, and looking at implementation.

This phase has received funding from the USDOT Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program, with Fresno Council of Governments applying in March 2021. The application received immense support from partners around the state, including CalSTA and OPR. Final award decisions have not been announced.
Grant Application

USDOT RAISE Discretionary Planning Grant Program (planned, awards to be announced in November 2021)
Fresno COG has applied for the new FY2021 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Planning Grant Program which would work parallel with the Accelerator efforts. While many aspects of project planning are already funded, a RAISE grant would enable in-depth site-specific planning in conjunction with social equity and environmental justice constituents. The timing of the RAISE planning grant is ideal because by the time awards are made the project team will be evaluating prospective sites for the multi-modal facilities and associated TradePorts that are critical components of the overall system. The grant will enable the project team to engage environmental justice and social equity organizations in the selection process and ensure advancement of the project’s multi-benefit goals: improved sustainability, social equity, environmental justice. and enhanced economic competitiveness. The Inland Port Team strongly believes that this project hits on the key sustainability, equity, and economic factors that the USDOT will use when evaluating proposals and is ready to further partner with the USDOT to keep moving this project forward. If selected, Fresno COG envisions work beginning in early 2022 to coincide with the Accelerator proposal and will be the applicant to the USDOT.

Grant Application – Coming Soon

For more information or questions, please contact Fresno COG Project Manager Braden Duran at