Planned to be larger, cheaper and more efficient than Long Beach-Los Angeles, America's busiest seaport, Puerto Colonet seeks to provide an alternative gateway to the United States for the growing volume of cargo arriving from manufacturing bases in Asia.

It's also, for now, just a dream.

Still needed is about $4 billion of private capital, construction of community and infrastructure to support the port complex and agreements from various transportation and trade-related entities like railroads, marine terminal operators and ocean carriers.

But the project has cleared several important hurdles, including a $1 billion commitment from the Mexican government, political support from national, regional and local bureaucracy and the resolution of important and often complicated land-use issues.

Plus, there's growing interest from shippers and retailers concerned about growing costs associated with seaports in California and elsewhere.

"The time is right for this project," said Ernesto Ruffo, a well-connected former Baja governor and northern border czar who founded Puerto Colonet Infraestructura (PCI), an international consortium of developers and shipping interests, to support the project. "The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are getting crowded, the infrastructure is congested and people are looking for lower costs and efficiencies."