The port of Long Beach has approved the Pier B on-dock rail facility project.

The proposed development would shift more cargo to on-dock rail, by providing track space to join together sections of trains. According to the port, a one-mile-long (1.6 km) train can take as many as 750 trucks off the roadways.

"This project is vital to our ability to stay competitive and will minimise truck trips generated by anticipated cargo growth," said harbour commission president Lou Anne Bynum. "Moving more cargo by rail to and from the port reduces air pollution and makes operations more efficient."

The next steps include the board's consideration of a baseline budget for the project after preliminary designs are completed over the coming months.