LOS ANGELES CA
The competition for cargo is intense today, even before the opening of the expanded Panama Canal and all competitors from Mexico to Canada are taken seriously, says Director of Media Relations, Phillip Sanfield.
The Port of Los Angeles — “the premier North American trade gateway” — is working hard through infrastructure investments to keep that title, and by optimizing the San Pedro Bay complex supply chain with collaboration from the Port of Long Beach and “direct interactions with our customers.”
As years go, 2014 was more of the same for the Port of Los Angeles with total throughput of 50.8mt (million tonnes), in a port that relies heavily on container movements. Some 43mt came from container traffic, which was up 1.3%, while bulk movements totalled almost 8mt.
Both San Pedro Bay ports have been battling congestion, growing wait times and labour troubles, but with a new waterfront contract, things are hopefully going to get better.
There are plenty of improvements underway. TraPac is expanding its wharves to 4,600 linear feet in a five-year $510 million project that will also deepen water depth, install new cranes, upgrade 50 acres of backlands, make road and truck gate improvements, and build a new on-dock rail facility.
Transportation access is also being upgraded to port facilities in a $83 million programme that attempts to keep port traffic off major roadways. Yusen Terminals has been given approval to deepen and improve its facilities in a $49 million project expected to begin this summer.
As for the environment, the port has set records with its diesel particulate matter down 80%, nitrogen oxides down 57% and sulphur oxides down 90% so far after eight years of ‘aggressive air measures’.
LONG BEACH CA
With a year when 82.3mt of freight was handled, the Port of Long Beach can be proud of a tough but rewarding 2014, given it moved 64.1mt in 2013. Containers continued to lead the way, accounting for 42mt of the total, followed by petroleum at 31mt, dry bulk at 8.7mt and breakbulk at 1.5mt.
Year to date figures through the end of April 2015 show the port running at an annualized rate of about of near 80mt with most sectors showing steady progress.
Shipping alliances by the major container movers have made it more difficult than ever to sort and distribute cargo at port terminals around the world, but like others, the Port of Long Beach is beginning to adjust,” says Assistant Director of Communications, Art Wong. The move by Long Beach to join the Port of Los Angeles investing in new technologies and operating practices “to further improve velocity” should also help in the future.
Long Beach is in the middle of a decade-long US$4 billion capital improvement programme which will see about $600 million spent over the next 12 months. Key projects include the $1.3 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement now at the columns stage; and the first phase of the Middle Harbour project — the most technologically advanced container terminal in North America — due to be operational early next year with its remotely-controlled cranes and driverless trucks designed to lift capacity to 1.7 million TEUs a year.
Mitsubishi has received approval to expand its import cement handling facility from 4.21 to 5.92 acres, providing it can meet environmental measures and upgrades.