Port News

Electrification of container terminals is hugely expensive, but for large ports such as Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, it may be the only way to handle growing cargo volumes in a sustainable manner, the vice president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association said Monday.

Container lines, at least in the U.S., are starting to take forceful action to prepare for the Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, weight verification rule.

Big increases in loaded import containers and empty export boxes pushed the Port of New York and New Jersey’s 2015 volume to a record 6,371,720 twenty-foot-equivalent units, despite soft December totals and continuing problems with congestion.

The enforcement of the SOLAS container weight mandate for U.S. exports — if there is any — will be done by each port, and the U.S. Coast Guard will only get involved if it boards an incoming vessel and finds it doesn’t have verified gross mass for each box.

Rather than being a loss for the Port of Oakland, the pending departure of Outer Harbor Terminal will be an economic plus to the port complex because it will concentrate more revenue-producing container volume into fewer marine terminals in order to fund their growth, Executive Director Chris Lytle said at the weekend.

Japan’s government has drawn up the drafts of guidelines and revised ministry ordinances, which contain penalties and variation between the verified gross mass and actual weight of a container, for the smooth implementation of the International Maritime Organization's looming Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, container weight rules.

Efforts to improve chassis quality and availability in the Port of New York and New Jersey are inching forward despite the long delay in the launch of a common chassis pool, a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official said.

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero said he sympathizes with Los Angeles and Long Beach port users seeking less truck congestion and more transparency from the ports’ PierPass program for off-hours truck gates.

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping has introduced a new container service at Krishnapatnam Port, a fast-growing alternative, minor, cargo gateway on India’s southeastern coast.

APM Terminals-operated Gujarat Pipavav Port is making a strong pitch for more roll-on, roll-off traffic, as the minor cargo facility on India’s west coast struggles to grow its container volumes amid sluggish global demand.