Top executives from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles held a kickoff meeting last week, starting to work together on cargo conveyance strategies that will enhance supply chain speed and efficiency, according to a City of Los Angeles statement.
News / Global Logistics
Zurich Insurance and their head of Strategic Business Risk, Linda Conrad, are sharing some interesting insights into the longer-term financial implications of the prolonged West Coast port disruption for retailers across the country.
Not surprisingly, February volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB) were down on an annual basis in February, as the months-long labor dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union, which impacted freight flows and port operations in the form of terminal congestion and related supply chain challenges, came to an end with the parties reaching a tentative five-year contract agreement on February 20.
Shipping lines collectively lost around $150 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to U.S. West Coast congestion, according to Drewry Maritime Research. In the most recent issue of Container Insight, researchers note that carriers experienced various levels of disruption from the port labor dispute, and attempted to quantify the losses by examining available data.
Zepol reports that total U.S. container imports are down over 5 percent this year, compared to January and February of 2014. Nearly the entire decline in imports was attributed to West Coast ports. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which make up a combined 40 percent of U.S. container imports, declined by 19 and 20 percent so far in 2015. East Coast ports have reaped the benefit, especially the port of New York/Newark, which increased container imports by 8 percent this year.
The Houston Ship Channel is still closed following a collision yesterday between two ships.
The ship channel is expected to remain closed until the U.S. Coast Guard has the situation under control. Officials at Morgan’s Point was lifted overnight.
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Efforts to eliminate a cargo backlog at the Port of Oakland are meeting with success. The Port said today gains in container movement are visible from ship to shore. The signs include:
The top officials at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach said that it would take three months to clear the thousands of containers left stranded on nearly two dozen ships — the product of epic congestion exacerbated by contentious labor talks between dockworkers and management.
Expected post-Lunar New Year cargo growth will accelerate equipment, cargo handling and other costs going forward.
While the full impact on ocean carrier deployments to U.S. West Coat ports has yet to be measured, major players comprising the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) are standing firm on raising rates.