West Coast Ports

West Coast Ports

Productivity is the name of the game for West Coast ports leading up to the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015. Unlike many of the ports on the East and Gulf coasts that are deepening their harbors and enlarging their marine terminals to prepare for the mega-ships that will begin transiting the canal in 2015, the major West Coast gateways already have 50-foot harbors and terminals of 100 to more than 400 acres in size.

In order to prevent an erosion of market share to East Coast ports, the Seattle-Tacoma, Oakland and Los Angeles-Long Beach gateways must improve their efficiency in unloading vessels, moving containers through the yards and expediting the departure of containers by truck and intermodal rail.

The 25 to 26 container moves per crane per hour that mark West Coast port operations must be increased to at least 30 moves per hour. Terminal operators are exploring options for automating yard, gate and on-dock rail operations. The busiest terminals will invest in costly equipment such as dual-hoist cranes, automated guided vehicles and automated stacking cranes. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together handle about 40 percent of U.S. imports from Asia, will spend more than $7 billion in the coming decade on larger, more efficient terminals and improved connectivity to rail and highway networks.

Offering a transit time advantage of a week to 10 days to the U.S. interior, and the potential for reducing per-slot vessel costs by hundreds of dollars with the arrival of vessels having a capacity of 13,000-TEU capacity, West Coast ports want to beat the canal by even further expanding their 70 percent market share of U.S. imports from Asia.

 

Special Coverage

The 12,500-TEU MSC Fabiola broke records when it first called at California ports in 2012.
West Coast ports will spend the coming year in much the same way they spent the past year: preparing for big ships operated by big carrier alliances.

News & Analysis

30 Oct 2014
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
30 Oct 2014
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.
29 Oct 2014
LONG BEACH — A Los Angeles-Long Beach port truck driver who said she was misclassified as an independent contractor was awarded a check for $9,000 in unemployment benefits by the California Employment Development Department this week, giving Teamsters fuel in their campaign to organize local drayage drivers.
24 Oct 2014
While the Port of Tacoma reported year-over-year growth in container volumes in September, Seattle suffered another month of double-digit volume decline.
Long Beach
23 Oct 2014
Some say the current gridlock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is on par with the most severe disruption the ports have seen in the past two decades, but Art Wong, spokesperson for the Port of Long Beach, told JOC.com today that the current congestion ― while serious ― is no where near that bad.
Fairview Container Terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert. Source: Flickr CC ― B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
23 Oct 2014
The massive congestion affecting the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is creating a fresh wave of diversions to other ports as shippers flee the worst congestion that the largest port complex in the Americas has seen in at least a decade.

Commentary

The world is full of dreamers like Malcom McLean that can change the logistics world. So, to fix the congestion surrounding Los Angeles-Long Beach, I am announcing today that I am going to open my own port!

Video

Don Krusel, Prince Rupert Port Authority president/CEO, speaks about competitiveness, labor relations and plans for expansion.
Dr. Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive director, Port of Long Beach, discusses port productivity and the impact of mega-ships, the role of infrastructure investment, and the need to emphasize system improvements to increase efficiency.
Acting Long Beach Port Director Al Moro talks about the ambitious projects to prepare the port for the big new container ships that are calling there. POLB and private investors are providing billions of dollars to build new rail lines and a huge automated container terminal, as well as to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which is too low for the new ships.