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Equipment and Systems
by Steve Chesser | Published  03/09/2005 | Technical Center

The right technology in the right hands.

Tracking vessel movements in the nation's largest port complex has come a long way since the early 1900's.  Back then, "lookouts” spotted arriving ships from coastal hilltops and “runners” raced on horseback to advise a number of shipping agents scattered around the growing harbor communities of Long Beach and San Pedro.

Today, with literally thousands of stakeholders monitoring the flow of billions of dollars in worldwide commerce through our harbor complex, the Marine Exchange is at the cutting edge of technology.  We're pioneering new ways to improve the safety, security, efficiency, reliability, and environmental soundness of the port complex and Southern California, and bring vital information to an international community of shippers, agents, and millions of their customers with "a need to know."

This is where we'll showcase much of that technology, and share with you some of the expertise we've gained over the years since 1923, when the Marine Exchange first began tracking vessel movements in Los Angeles harbor.

Advanced radar systems, powerful new computers, custom designed software, and a staff of experienced maritime professionals.  That's today's Marine Exchange.

Marine Exchange Vessel Traffic Service:

Between 2013 and 2015 the Marine Exchange’s Vessel Traffic Service replaced virtually all of the critical components of the system.  This includes replacement of 3 radars, 2 Automated Information System (AIS) units, 4 radios, 6 network routers, and Vessel Traffic Computer system itself.

Much of the equipment was funded by the FEMA Port Security Grant Program, and the Marine Exchange is very grateful to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for their assistance in providing the required 25% of matching funds for the grants received in 2011 and 2013.

In August 2014, the Marine Exchange commissioned a new emergency backup battery system.  This system, powered by lithium ion batteries, provides between 2 and 5 hours of clean, zero emissions power, which supplements the existing diesel generator.