The balance of power between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach shifted slightly in July. LA, the largest hub, recorded a container volume slump, particularly on the export side. Long Beach, in turn, was pleased with its throughput growth. In the shadow of the rivalry between the two centres on the west coast, a third gateway on the other side of the pan-continental country benefited.
The rough seas dominating maritime cargo activities on the west coast of the USA calmed down early this year, when organised labour’s International Long-
shore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the trade body Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) came to an agreement. The long period of tension before the deal was struck left its mark on the overall situation, however.
The greatest impact was registered in Los Angeles. The USA’s largest port recorded a 2.5% container volume decline in July, in comparison with the same month last year, with the figure coming to 699,127 teu handled. Imports fell by 3.5% to 350,627 teu in the period under review, whilst exports crashed by 16.4% to 136,402 teu.
The situation in the Long Beach facility was quite the opposite. LA’s neighbour and competitor was pleased with impressive growth of 18.4% vis-à-vis July 2014, which resulted in total throughput of 690,224 teu – a record, even beating the best report ever from the pre-crisis year of 2007. These numbers represented the fourth time in five months that Long Beach registered higher throughput.
The latest results reported by the port of Charleston, located in South Carolina on the country’s east coast, probably also gave its managers cause for satisfaction. The gateway already benefited greatly from the enduring difficulties on the west coast in 2014, and in July registered an increase of 13.8% vis-à-vis the previous year. This brought the number of boxes handled there in the summer month to more than 175,200 teu. The hub also exceeded its own expectations in the breakbulk field by 6%.Source: International Transport Journal