Port Productivity

Port Productivity

News and updates on port productivity at terminals in the U.S., China, India and other international ports and terminals. 


Ports are in the unique position to facilitate transformational change for the global supply chain. If we responsibly harness the new technologies available, these advanced solutions can position ports as trusted partners in digital infrastructure — just as we are in physical infrastructure.

News & Analysis

16 Aug 2022
The modernization of Vancouver's Centerm terminal provides a lesson for other land-constrained terminals looking to speed up truck turns and rail cargo flow to, ultimately, create more functional container capacity, writes JOC Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi.
18 Aug 2021
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic last year forced container throughput at the world’s largest ports down for the first time in four years due to lockdowns and factory closures around the world.
13 Apr 2021
If the only meaningful discussions with labor occur within the context of contentious and disruptive contract negotiations, no policy approach to the issue of container throughput can hope to yield lasting solutions.
12 Apr 2021
A good chunk of the current North American port tightness is not simply elevated market demand, but rather strong demand colliding with sinking productivity as congestion mounts.
19 Mar 2021
There is no solution currently on the horizon that will prevent the next meltdown at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, irrespective of what triggers it.
08 Mar 2021
Months-long congestion and the slow return of empty containers at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York and New Jersey are flowing inland to key rail hubs such as Chicago and Dallas.
03 Feb 2021
While Indian terminals had fewer ships to process, especially in the first half of 2020, that operational flexibility was eclipsed by widespread landside challenges and labor shortages.
20 Oct 2020
While Halifax was the best way station immediately available for Montreal-bound containers, it still lacks capabilities as an emergency valve for Canadian importers due to its remoteness from inland distribution networks, stakeholders say.
08 Oct 2020
Cargo handling and delivery of import containers to truckers in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has been severely compromised by the three-month import surge from Asia that continues at a double-digit year-over-year clip.
07 Oct 2020
The pandemic-induced slowdown in global trade earlier in the year played a role in the marginal improvement in port efficiency since ports had to handle fewer boxes overall, but avoiding landside constraints also helped.
05 Aug 2020
Warehouses in Southern California are grappling with congestion and equipment shortages that can be traced back to marine terminals, as well as sporadic labor shortages owing to COVID-19.
29 Jun 2020
A renewed push to reduce port stay times, driven by larger decarbonization goals, represents a rare scenario in which carriers, terminal operators, and cargo owners could all benefit.
12 Jun 2020
The average capacity of container ships calling ports around the world, and the average amount of cargo exchanged per call, continued to grow in almost all regions in 2019.
07 Apr 2020
A coalition of 80 agricultural shippers is urging the Trump administration to get involved in the detention and demurrage debate now before the Federal Maritime Commission, saying the issue is even more important now amid supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
31 Mar 2020
The Federal Maritime Commission will engage stakeholders on how it can maintain cargo fluidity in the supply chain during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in a bid to avoid disruption.
SSA Marine said truckers who participate in free flow drayage in West Coast ports such as Oakland (above) consistently achieve turn times of 15 to 20 minutes, compared with an hour or longer in conventional operations.
20 Feb 2020
Terminal operators, truckers, and BCOs agree that expanding free-flow operations for the delivery of containers at West Coast ports is a win-win situation for all participants, but the complexities of pulling it off in an era of big ships and alliances is limiting its potential.
31 Jan 2020
A pilot program about to begin in the Port of New York and New Jersey would make the data from the port’s container information portal easier to use and help truckers and shippers more effectively manage their cargo.
16 Jan 2020
Any initiative to extend the marine terminal gate hours at the Port of New York and New Jersey would likely need to address the fact that many small and medium-sized warehouses that serve the port operate only during the day.
31 Dec 2019
Ports on the US East Coast are expanding handling capacity and deepening harbors in anticipation of larger vessels and a continued shift in discretionary cargo away from the West Coast.
US West Coast ports competing through infrastructure, technology
30 Dec 2019
Seaports on the US West Coast aim to regain some of the market share they have lost over the past five years to the East and Gulf coasts by building infrastructure and implementing technology needed to move cargo cheaper and faster.
12 Dec 2019
Chassis solutions such as the pool of pools in Southern California and the pool arrangement in the southeast US are still falling short of their goal of establishing fully interoperable chassis pools because of carrier-imposed box rules, drayage operators say.
03 Dec 2019
The Port of Virginia will extend the hours of mandatory appointments by one hour to 3 p.m. during the week, a move supported by the trucking community.
14 Nov 2019
The increasing cargo and vessel size at the Port of New York and New Jersey will present a major test to the port’s new leadership as the port seeks to consolidate its dominance on the East Coast container market while improving fluidity.
18 Oct 2019
The amount of time container ships spend at port continued to rise in the first half of 2019, despite relative gains in terminal efficiency, according to an analysis of JOC.com port productivity data.
15 Oct 2019
West Coast port managers say sharing cargo information through digital portals and disseminating information on truck turn times is motivating marine terminals to improve performance, but brokers and forwarders remain skeptical.
Chinese port volumes slow amid trade war
22 Aug 2019
The slowdown reflects easing global economic growth and retaliatory tariffs with the United States.
07 Aug 2019
Ports that invest in connectivity, such as Shanghai, the best-connected port in the world, are growing the fastest and contributing significant economic benefits to their regions, according to UNCTAD report.
05 Aug 2019
Recent modernization moves are paying off for India’s BMCT, which set a productivity record for the terminal in late July. Photo credit: PSA India.
02 Aug 2019
Terminal operators at Mexican ports say they need to work more closely with rails and truckers, and have better coordination with cargo owners to reduce shipping delays.
More North American port automation expected
04 Jul 2019
Five North American terminals have automated to date, although growing vessel sizes and container exchanges at the busiest gateways have terminal operators at least considering the possibility they will need either full or semi-automation to continue growing.
Bill would allow California agency to block port automation
03 Jul 2019
A California bill that would allow a state agency to block port automation comes as the ILWU is challenging plans by APM Terminals to automate a 100-acre portion of the Port of Los Angeles’ Pier 400 facility for refrigerated containers.
01 Jul 2019
Remarks at a Mexico City trade show by Hector Lopez Gutierrez, coordinator general of the ports and merchant marine, offered a rare view of how President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who took office in December, plans to approach port investment.
26 Jun 2019
A new yard to be opened later this year aims to increase efficiency in the delivery and pick up of containers from the Port of Long Beach by reducing the distance of a drayage run.
20 Jun 2019
Amid intense scrutiny from longshore unions throughout North America, the LA harbor commission on Thursday approved a construction permit at APM Terminals Pier 400 that will open the door to a scalable type of automation that could be incorporated into smaller terminal operations in other ports.
19 Jun 2019
Drayage operators urge agricultural shippers to use their influence as cargo owners to get other port stakeholders on board with efforts to improve truck turn times at marine terminals and rail hubs.