West Coast Maritime Ports

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West Coast Maritime Ports

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:08 am

Monday's Wall Street Journal has an interesting article that includes a graphic of the volume of traffic handled by each of such - including Canada and Mexico. While rail appears in the text of such only once, the impact of the statistics directly affect three of the Class I's and indirectly the other four.

Not addressed; the impact of the 'canary in the coalmine' - PANAMAX:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/west-coa ... 1404085631

Brief passage:

    But with cargo traffic down, West Coast operators are fighting to maintain volume by underbidding each other to keep ships calling in a high-stakes game, whose score is tallied by the number of cargo containers port cranes move from ships' holds onto railcars and truck trailers. Seattle's container volume dropped to 1.6 million units last year, down 35% since 2010.

    Port officials say the market means shippers can dictate terms. "They're like sports teams threatening to leave if you don't build them a new stadium," said John Creighton, a Seattle port official.

    To stay competitive, the port has spent almost $350 million since 1999 to make its docks more efficient and road and rail connections speedier.

    Still, some carriers have taken their business elsewhere. In 2012, the consortium known as shipping's Grand Alliance—Germany's Hapag-Lloyd, Japan's NYK and Hong Kong's OOCL—left Seattle for Tacoma, Wash., effectively shifting 20% of Seattle's container intake to its competitor 30 miles south.

    The Port of Portland, Ore., cut similar deals with the South Korean carrier Hanjin Line, the latest this spring when it agreed to subsidies of $20 to $45 per container to keep Hanjin calling. That move capped a number of concessions Portland has made since 2012, which grew to $2.7 million through February, and could now rise to $4 million through the end of this year.
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Re: West Coast Maritime Ports

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:53 am

The Wall Street Journal continues this past Saturday with its reporting as the maritime industry - and of course those industries that support it, as in railroads and ports, readies for a post-PANAMAX shipping environment.

The article points out that there will still be a significant time advantage for Asian West Coast traffic over that routed Asia-Canal-East Coast. With the number of East Coast ports preparing a throw a big time party, I still have to question "what if nobody came?". I'm certain any of us here who read these pages favor what is best for the railroad industry. Lest we forget, even if CSX and NS see increases, but much shorter hauls, in traffic, consider what is being lost to BNSF and UP.

Now to close on a "think out of the box"; could this possible diversion of traffic from West to East be the catalyst for creation of the duopoly of transcontinental systems, i.e. BNSF+CSX, NS+UP or v.v. and KCS going to one Canadian or the other?

http://online.wsj.com/articles/port-cit ... 1404852994

Brief passage:

    The Port of Houston is sizzling, and not just because it is summer in Texas.

    Houston leads all but three U.S. metropolitan areas in the construction of industrial space, with more than 4.7 million square feet under way. And the rent for industrial properties rose faster there than in any other market in the year through March.

    Brokers credit Texas's rapidly expanding oil-and-natural-gas sector for rising demand for space at the ports. But a less-obvious factor also is responsible: the widening of the Panama Canal.

    When Panama in 2006 approved plans to modernize its 100-year-old canal to allow for bigger ships carrying 2.5 times as much container cargo, it threatened to break the West Coast's hold on trade with Northeast Asia.

    Today, more than 70% of U.S. container traffic from Asia passes through Pacific ports, and as much as a third of those containers travel through Los Angeles and Long Beach by truck and train to consumers in the eastern half of the nation.

    But once it is completed in early 2016, a wider canal will give shippers the option to bypass those ports and their more-expensive overland supply routes, and go directly to ports in New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, Miami and elsewhere.

    Because of cheaper per-unit shipping costs, as much as 25% of West-bound cargo from Asia could shift to the south and northeast, according to a report by brokerage firm JLL.
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Re: West Coast Maritime Ports

Postby JayBee » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:47 pm

Have any of the East Coast ports thought much about the infrastructure to move the containers away from their ports? I hear a lot about dredging and about piers and cranes, but nothing much about the highways and railyards. Norfolk has done some, but not a lot. Look at Google Earth for the ports of LA and Long Beach and look at the rail infrastructure, now look at most East Coast ports. Can you imagine 5 container trains with 200 platforms departing the Port of Miami each day? With the opposition to AAF what do you think the reaction to tying up traffic in Downtown Miami would be. Also look at how the shipping companies are playing the Ports against each other, it will only be worse. A lot of ports are going to get burned.
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Re: West Coast Maritime Ports

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:17 am

Mr. JayBee, I have noted the absence of your byline over at this topic regarding the Port of Miami and the restored rail access to same:

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=59258

I believe you will find the discussion to be informed and mature, and with a good number of participants that have "done this stuff for a living".
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 12890
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Aurora Sub; MP 18.71)


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