Page 26: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Mar/Apr 2019)

Container Ports

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Container Ports

Boxed in or Busting Out?Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.

By Rick Eyerdam he nation’s major ports ?nished 2018 and began 2019 set- ter. In total, for the ?rst three months of 2019, the port’s volumes ting monthly and yearly container volume records, but have increased 4.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Tagitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not. Port of Long Beach: Eclipsing 8 million TEU

President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying The Port of Long Beach, the ?fth largest U.S. port in terms of the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in value, processed nearly 657,300 TEUs in January, down 0.1 percent

Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give from January 2018 when the port handled 657,800 TEUs. Despite negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with lingering trade uncertainty, the Port of Long Beach had the second-

Beijing. Tariffs on Chinese goods are set to increase to 25 percent busiest ?rst quarter in its history, moving more than 1.8 million from 10 percent unless the U.S. and China reach an agreement. twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) January through March.

Research by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Long Beach ?nished 2018 by also setting a record, moving the shows the trade sanctions will impact nine percent of the total volume most cargo in its 108-year history: 8.1 million TEUs compared of products imported and exported to the United States. Trade with with 7.5 million in 2017. The achievement was a particularly im-

China accounts for 16 percent of items moved in and out of Califor- pressive feat considering that cargo volumes slowed substantially nia ports, 13 percent in Georgia and 12 percent in Washington State. in the second half of the year, illustrating the strength of cargo in

All that said, there is much to be happy about at the nation’s col- the beginning of the year. lection of boxports, and plenty more is happening in terms of infra- structure development. And, if the U.S. Department of Transpor-

Port of NY & NJ breaks All-Time Annual Box Record tation’s projections that total freight tons moving on the nation’s During 2018, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled transportation network will grow 49 percent in the next three de- more than 7 million TEUs for the ?rst time in its history. The cades, while the value of freight will almost double, are even close to 7,179,788 TEUs handled allows the port to maintain its position as being accurate, any short term uncertainties wrought by the prospect the busiest on the East Coast and the third busiest in the nation fol- of a trade war will be eclipsed by the inertia of inevitable growth. lowing Los Angeles and Long Beach. This was bolstered by an 8.2

All that said; what’s happening in some of the nation’s busiest percent increase in imported goods including clothing, furniture, boxports is even more important. A selected look at the current electronics and other everyday products over the previous record landscape is an eye-opener: for imports set in 2017. The Port handled one third of all contain- ers on the East Coast of North America; an increase in market

San Pedro Bay Ports share of 2.8 percent over last year. Notably, the port also set a new

Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest port in TEUs and fourth in all-time record for cargo handled by rail, moving 645,760 contain- value began 2019 on an accelerated pace, with a record 852,000 ers by rail, up 13.8 percent over the previous record set in 2017.

containers in January, a 5.4 percent increase over the same period The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June last year when employees moved nearly 809,000 TEUs. January 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, marked the seventh consecutive month the port handled more than which raised local air draft from 151 to 215 feet, allowing the 800,000 TEUs. The Port of Los Angeles ?nished 2018 processing world’s largest container ships to pass under it. Since the bridge a record 9,458,748 TEUs, compared with 9.34 million in 2017. project was completed, a dramatic increase in the size of vessels

More recently, Los Angeles handled 650,977 TEUs in March, calling on the port means that 30 percent of containerized cargo an increase of 12.7 percent compared to 2018. For the ?rst quarter now arrives on 9,000 TEU capacity tonnage, or larger.

of 2019, container volumes grew 4.6 percent. Despite global trade uncertainties, the port experienced strong ?rst quarter growth, in Houston: new Port Chairman, new priorities part due to local supply chain stakeholders who achieved ef?cien- The Port of Houston also ?nished on a record note, moving cy gains with a Port Optimizer that was rolled out in the ?rst quar- 2.7 million TEUs in 2018, up 10 percent compared with 2017. 26 Maritime Logistics Professional March/April 2019 | |

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