Port News

The four companies that control about 95 percent of the chassis at Los Angeles-Long Beach agreed on Thursday to develop a neutral, or gray chassis for the largest port complex in the Americas, with the phased rollout to begin on Feb. 1, 2015.

One of the largest U.S. shipper groups is throwing its weight behind an effort to convince PierPass to temporarily waive millions in fees to ease the pain of congestion at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex.

The Port of Jacksonville’s first dedicated Asian container terminal opened in 2009 — just as U.S. consumer demand plunged because of the global recession. Now the promised Asian container traffic boom is starting to become a reality with volume up 20 percent year-over-year in the port’s fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

West Coast ports chart
Despite nine months that included historic congestion, rumblings of diversions and the lack of a West Coast port contract, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach nabbed a bigger piece of the West Coast volume pie through the first three quarters of 2014.

Port of Pecem, Brazil
Booming refrigerated shipments have given a boost to containerized operations at Brazil’s Port of Pecem, which is operated by APM Terminals.

Port congestion has gotten so bad in Los Angeles-Long Beach that harbor truckers are imposing congestion surcharges of $50 to as much as $100 an hour, and retailers and other beneficial cargo owners are paying the extra charges if the alternative is that they will not get their containers that day.

Port of Oakland
Congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach could result in the realization of a long-time goal at the Port of Oakland: becoming the first U.S. West Coast call for inbound cargo from Asia.

Container ships at anchor on Oct. 30 off Los Angeles-Long Beach awaiting berths
Adding to other recent evidence that congestion at Los Angeles-Long Beach is worsening, Hapag-Lloyd Wednesday announced delays to multiple services and said the overall situation “has reached a critical point.”

Hapag-Lloyd again raised its “on-carriage congestion surcharge” for import shipments handled at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Sheva), indicating that India’s largest container handler is still battling clogged railyards and that equipment turn times for ocean carriers have yet to improve.

A group of Mexican produce and meat exporters are sold on the idea of starting weekly ocean service between the ports of Veracruz, Mexico, and Philadelphia, saying it would be faster, cheaper and provide better security and cargo integrity than current trucking routes.