Pacific and Atlantic ports show strong volumes in June
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Another month, another record in some ports of the country.
At the Port of Los Angeles, stevedores handled 876,611 20-foot equivalent containers in June. That marked the highest volume for that month in the facility’s 115-year history, breaking the 2021 record of 181 containers.
“By mid-year, we were able to reduce the number of ships waiting to berth by 75 percent, allowing dockers to efficiently process more ships,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “We are already starting to take care of back to school, fall fashion and holiday items. Despite inflation and higher than usual inventories, we expect freight volume to remain robust in the second half of the year.
ICYMI: The Port of Los Angeles carried 876,611 TEUs in June 2022, ranking last year as the best June in the port’s 115-year history. In mid-2022, the #PortofLA handled over 5.4 million TEUs, matching last year’s record pace. https://t.co/MspLRRUUJj pic.twitter.com/i0KvPjfuSk
— Port of Los Angeles (@PortofLA) July 15, 2022
Six months to 2022, the port has handled over 5.4 million TEUs, matching last year’s record pace.
The adjacent port of Long Beach broke its record for the month, handling 835,412 TEUs. That’s an increase of 15.3%, or 83,334 containers, from last June’s record 752,078. Imports soared 16.4% and empty containers passing through the port also jumped 21.6%.
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“We anticipate a robust summer season as consumer demand continues to drive cargo to our docks,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “We expect to remain moderately busy in the coming months, and we will endeavor to quickly process the containers waiting at the port.”
Meanwhile, demolition work continues in Long Beach on the late 1960s Gerald Desmond Bridge, which spans Interstate 710. The new $1.5 billion Long Beach International Gateway cable-stayed bridge adds 50 feet of vertical clearance, now up to 205 feet for shipping from the Desmond Bridge. This allows larger ships to enter and leave the port and provides additional vehicle traffic with more lanes on the highway.
First we built the new bridge, now it’s time to tear down the old one. After more than 50 years of service, demolition began on the Gerald Desmond Bridge earlier this month. Watch this video for behind-the-scenes and up-close footage of the demo. pic.twitter.com/5FisMbjKUa
— Port of Long Beach (@portoflongbeach) July 15, 2022
It wasn’t just West Coast ports that broke records: the Port of Virginia saw a 12.9% year-over-year increase in June, handling 317,742 containers compared to 281,346 in 2021. For fiscal 2022, the port finished with 3.7 million TEUs, a 14.7% increase over the previous year.
The Port of Oakland saw a 2.9% year-over-year decline, with 215,953 containers in June compared to 222,483 a year ago. Due to high shipping rates for inbound goods from China, for over a year some shippers skipped Oakland and immediately returned to China to get more freight to deliver to Long Beach and Los Angeles. This freight would then be trucked further north.
However, port officials say the trend is easing.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission has taken a major step by finally allowing Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics to build a new stadium and commercial development in the harbor. The team sought to replace the aging Ring Central Coliseum with a waterfront ballpark.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which operates facilities in Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., reported a 10.3% drop in volume in June, to 309,123 TEUs from 344,573 in 2021.
NWSA officials said in a statement to Transport Topics that “the reduction in ship calls in June due to congestion at other ports, as well as some ongoing service suspensions, has had a negative impact on volumes at the NWSA Vessel carriers canceled some calls to the NWSA due to limited berth windows at other ports in the service rotation, which reduced the total volume for the NWSA.
Port Houston recorded another strong month, handling 11% more containers year-over-year – 323,823 compared to 292,627. The port is 18% ahead of the record pace of 2021; workers moved 1,897,065 containers in the first six months, up from 1,607,793 last year. The port recently announced that it was expanding its weekly hours and adding truck availability on Saturdays.
“It is critical that our industry takes advantage of the extended hours we provide to our customers,” said port executive director Roger Guenther. “The extension of these hours must be a way of the future”,
The Atlantic Ocean’s busiest port operation – the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – typically reports at the end of the month, and June volume is not yet available. However, the facility handled 845,305 containers in May, a 6.1% year-over-year increase.
Savannah, Georgia port officials said cargo volumes will be made public after the July 26 monthly board meeting. The South Carolina Port Authority, which operates the Port of Charleston, has yet to release volumes.
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