Port News

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition said a new international container weight verification rule threatens U.S. exporters with lost business and supply chain “turmoil,” and warrants a congressional inquiry.

Containerized imports at U.S. ports are projected to increase by double digits in January and February compared to the same months last year, when dozens of vessels were stranded outside of West Coast ports due to labor problems.

A 10 percent increase in traffic at Itapoá port to 512,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units driven by a 25 percent surge in chicken exports to 41,200 containers in 2015 has left Itapoá in dire need of new equipment and more capacity.

The Panama Canal cast fresh doubt on the planned Nicaragua canal on Monday, saying there isn’t enough cargo to support two canals, that the price tag is far above what Nicaragua says it will cost and that necessary tolls to pay for it would need to three times what the Panama Canal charges today.

Container throughput at India’s major public ports was up 2.21 percent year-over-year in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2015-16, but the growth would have been slightly higher if the largest container handler, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, hadn’t faced slowdowns due to prolonged industrial unrest at the DP World facility in the harbor last month.

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.