SeaIntel: California ports defy congestion

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports raise handling of containers by 3.3 percent in 2014, despite the worst congestion in years, according to analysis from SeaIntel.

Shippers have not made changes to supply chains in LA ports, even though the ports are hit by the worst congestion in years. This is the current development in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, the three main ports in California, according to SeaIntel’s analysis.

2014 was the busiest year in Oakland, annually handling containers of almost 2.4 million teu. One might think this was due to shippers moving volume from LA ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, to Oakland, but that is not the case, according to SeaIntel.

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest developments in International shipping? Subscribe to our newsletter – the first 40 days are free

"However, the two LA ports’ combined annual throughput increased 3.3 percent Y/Y to 13.6 million TEU, which makes 2014 the fourth busiest year ever for the LA ports. Even though the increase might have been bigger had the LA ports not experienced severe congestion in 2014, the increase clearly shows that shippers have predominantly not moved their supply chains away from the LA port complex."

These three ports handle about 40 percent of all containers going in and out of the US. Although in 2014 the ports were plagued with problems following a conflict between port workers and shippers that began 8 months ago during contract negotiations.

Alternative routes

The result was a lack of truck drivers and capacity on land to handle the larger vessels as well as container ships lining up to enter the ports. Overall regarding the port development, SeaIntel writes:

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest developments in International shipping? Subscribe to our newsletter – the first 40 days are free

"It could be that growth in the three ports would have been higher if congestion had not been an issue, but it is not something that has moved the majority of shippers. If the congestion keeps getting worse and the conflict between the PMA and ILWU continues, it must be expected that more and more shippers will start to choose alternative routes."

Last week both sides of the West Coast port conflict reached a temporary agreement regarding maintenance and monitoring of ship chassis. This agreement brings hope that a complete agreement will be reached soon.

Negotiations on US West Coast reach key milestone

Shippers on US West Coast: We're approaching gridlock

Alphaliner: Conflict on US West Coast enters critical stage

Frontpage right now

Maersk will now be printing spare parts on board its vessels

Maersk and J. Lauritzen are now looking to really crack the 3D market, and with a new project including several prominent players, carriers are starting to print spare parts on board vessels and rigs. The technology is ready for the maritime sector, the partners say.

Simpson Spence Young acquires Bidsted & Co

Simpson Spence Young has acquired Danish dry bulk broker Bidsted & Co. "The world requires more and more these days, and we had to acknowledge that we were unable to match demand on our own," Bidsted's managing director Carsten Munk Jensen tells ShippingWatch.

Swedish shipowners want 400 ships flagged in Sweden by 2027

The much-anticipated tonnage tax scheme could mean that 400 ships join the Swedish flag over the next decade, shows a study performed by the Swedish Shipowners' Association. "We hope that over the coming years these predictions will turn out to be correct," Vice President Pia Berglund tells ShippingWatch.

This week's top stories on ShippingWatch

Navigare Capital Partners, owned by parts of the Mærsk family, is ready to buy more vessels, Simpson Spence Young acquired Danish broker Bidsted & Co., and Norden CEO Jan Rindbo offered insights into his management strategy this past week on ShippingWatch.

Latest Ports

Related articles

Latest news


See all

See all