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.

 

News & Analysis

An agreement to extend contracts early from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and International Longshoremen’s Association would usher in an unprecedented era of labor peace at US ports.
27 Sep 2016
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association on Tuesday raised shippers’ hopes for a longer period of labor peace at US West Coast ports.
McAllister tugs in New York
15 Sep 2016
A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday denied a motion by several fuel and towing companies to lift the prohibition on them seizing ships operated by Hanjin Shipping.
15 Sep 2016
Shippers await the berthing of vessels in LA-LB, Savannah, and New York-New Jersey — even though a South Korean court on Friday approved the release of $10 million to work Hanjin ships in the United States.
15 Sep 2016
Billed as the “Mid-American Arc,” the GPA’s rail-focused initiative will allow the port to better serve markets from Atlanta to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, and the Ohio Valley.
08 Sep 2016
Jon Slangerup has resigned from his position as Port of Long Beach CEO.
06 Sep 2016
Hanjin Shipping's sudden exit has left shippers looking for capacity.

Commentary

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