2017 MATE Competition



The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s busiest seaports. It is the second-busiest container port in the United States, after the Port of Los Angeles, which it connects to. Acting as a major gateway for trade between the United States and Asia, the port occupies 13 km2 of land with 40 km of waterfront in the city of Long Beach, California. The Port of Long Beach is located less than 3 km southwest of downtown Long Beach and approximately 40 km south of downtown Los Angeles.

The port has 10 piers, 80 ship berths, 66 gantry cranes, and 22 shipping terminals. More than 2,000 vessels call at the Port of Long Beach each year, moving $180 billion in cargo. Each year, it handles more than 6.8 million 20-foot container units; on a daily average, it is possible for the port to handle of up 30,000 cargo containers. In U.S. dollars, the seaport generates nearly $100 billion in trade each year. It provides more than 316,000 jobs in Southern California; 1.4 million jobs throughout the U.S. are related to Long Beach-generated trade.

In addition to commerce, the port includes cruise ships and activities related to tourism and entertainment. Docked in Long Beach Harbor is the RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Queen Mary, a colossal ship bigger, faster, and more powerful than the RMS Titanic. Built in Scotland, the 1,000-foot ship made her maiden voyage on May 27, 1936. After three years of hosting the world’s rich and famous across the Atlantic, she was called into service during World War II. She became known as "The Grey Ghost,” carrying more than 800,000 troops, traveling more than 600,000 miles, and playing a significant role in virtually every major Allied campaign, including the D-Day invasion. In 1967, she was withdrawn from service after more than 1,000 transatlantic crossings. That same year, the Queen Mary was sold for $3.45 million to the City of Long Beach for use as a maritime museum and hotel.

With all of the activity and vessel traffic, the Port of Long Beach is not immune to accidents and pollution. Thousands of dollars have been spent on the removal and remediation of contaminated sites, such as the IR Site 7 remediation dredging project to remove chemicals that entered the harbor from the former Long Beach Naval Station operations. More than 400,000 m2 of contaminated sediments were sequestered during that 2017 RANGER Class 7 project. In addition, each year thousands of containers fall off of cargo ships, sometimes in harbors as ships are entering or leaving port.

The Port of Long Beach is governed by the City of Long Beach. The City Charter created the Long Beach Harbor Department to promote and develop the Port. The Harbor Department’s primary responsibility is the health and safety of the port and waterfront.


The Port of Long Beach has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a remotely operated vehicle and crew that can operate in the sometimes confined and often precarious conditions of the port and waterfront. Specifically, the port managers are in need of an ROV that can: 

1) assist with the installation of a Hyperloop system to expedite the delivery of goods and streamline commerce

2) conduct maintenance on the port’s water and light show to guarantee uninterrupted entertainment

3) identify and collect samples of contaminated sediment then remediate the area to protect the health of people and the environment

4) identify the contents of containers that fell off of a cargo ship into the harbor and map the accident site to ensure the safety of the port and its operations.