The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have seen a big boost in trade with several Southeast Asian countries at the same time the trade war has caused cargo volumes to and from China and Hong Kong to plunge. In a presentation to the Pacific Transportation Association in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Mike DiBernardo, the deputy director of the Port of Los Angeles, noted that imports from China and Hong Kong to the two Southern California ports were 11.8% — or about 209,000 TEUs — lower in the first four months of 2019 than in the same 2018 period. Exports were off 24.6% or about 81,000 TEUs. While China is a much larger trading partner, the growing volumes of containers moving to and from other Asian countries helped offset some of the decline. For example, imports were up from Cambodia by 45% or 5,172 TEUs; from Vietnam by 21.9% or 40,056 TEUs; from Thailand by 10.6% or 8,984 TEUs. There also were single-digit percentage increases from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan, while imports from South Korea also were off 2.9% or 3,298 TEUs.
Exports were up to many Asian countries, including to Malaysia by 51.7% or 11,159 TEUs; to Singapore by 43.2% or 6,791 TEUs; to South Korea by 27.3% or 24,223 TEUs; to Japan by 17% or 15,490 TEUs; and to Indonesia by 12.4% or 5,482 TEUs. Exports to Thailand were down 19.7% or 5,220 TEUs. DiBernardo said the port does have some concerns that if manufacturing were to move to countries outside of Southeast Asia to destinations such as Africa, West Coast ports would not be as well positioned to handle that trade as those elsewhere in the U.S. The Port of Los Angeles moved a record 9,458,000 TEUs of containerized cargo last year. It is also a major hub for other types of cargo, handling 90.6 million barrels of liquid bulk products such as petroleum in 2018, 156,091 automobiles and large amounts of steel, scrap metal, fruit and other sorts of breakbulk cargo. The neighboring Port of Long Beach handled 8,091,023 TEUs in 2018 and the combined volumes of the two ports are expected to grow from the 17.5 million TEUs last year to 41 million TEUs by 2040.
To do that, the Port of LA is looking at ways to make its terminals more efficient, DiBernardo said.
Last year the port’s terminals began requiring shippers to make appointments at container terminals. The port now is looking to make a centralized appointment system in which trucking companies can make reservations at any of the terminals in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The port also is working with Wabtech, formerly General Electric, to create Port Optimizer, a computer portal through which Customs and Border Protection, shippers, ocean carriers, trucking companies, terminals, chassis providers, railroads and other players can share information and improve planning. DiBernardo said availability of chassis continues to be an issue at the port, but said the “pool of pools,” a combined chassis pool by suppliers Flexivan, DCLI and TRAC, has been successful.
To free up more space at terminals, the port is looking to create off-dock yards within the port’s property for chassis storage and where truckers would be able to pick up and return chassis. At a meeting of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition earlier this month, Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said, “The highest level of interoperability” by chassis providers is key.
“Our truck turn times are a worst in the nation,” he said, in part because of chassis issues. “That can no longer be acceptable and it will not be under my watch. So we are going to move the chassis off the terminals.”
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are continuing to reduce air pollution. Since 2005, port-related air pollution emissions in San Pedro Bay have dropped 87% for diesel particulate matter, 58% for nitrogen oxides and 97% for sulfur oxides. Targets for reducing greenhouse gases from port-related sources were introduced as part of the 2017 CAAP and are down 13%. The document calls for the ports to reduce GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
DiBernardo said that converting harbor craft to run on LNG is “low-hanging fruit” in the port’s goal to further reduce air pollution. If in the future ocean carriers convert their ships to use LNG as bunker fuel in response to the IMO mandate that they begin using low-sulfur fuel next year, San Pedro Bay potentially could become a bunkering hub for LNG-fueled ships, he said, noting that Pasha Hawaii will bring into service an LNG-powered ship next year, though he said the company, at least initially, plans to fuel the ship with gas supplied by trucks. “If at some point there is enough need for LNG for ships coming in, we will work closely with our customers,” said DiBernardo.
I really can’t think of a worse response to the myth of the driver solution than to reduce the driver age or reduce the already low standards to get a CDL.
Seven container liner shipping companies deploy capacity on the India Subcontinent to North America (US/CA) trade, with Maersk Line deploying the most capacity each week towards the trade, according to BlueWater Reporting’s Carrier/Trade Route Deployment Report.
LA, Long Beach see Southeast Asian trade growthLarger container volumes with Asia partially have offset a decline in trade with China and Hong Kong. Jun 27, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018 — AmericanShipper.com
LA, Long Beach see Southeast Asian trade growth
Larger container volumes with Asia partially have offset a decline in trade with China and Hong Kong.
Jun 27, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018 — AmericanShipper.com
This version will embed the story headline without any styling applied. Use this version if you will use your own custom styling on your website. This version also includes HTML fallback protection.