AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Metrics: Baltimore, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Vancouver USA, Virginia

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

Baltimore: Containers, Auto Trade Set Records in 2015

2015 was a record year for autos and containers at the Port of Baltimore’s public marine terminals, according to the Maryland Port Administration (MPA). General cargo fell just short of a record, totaling 9.6 million short tons, down from the all-time of 9.7 million tons reached in 2014.

The data in detail:

Containers – 840,314 TEUs (up 9.1 percent from 2014)

Auto Imports (public terminals): 399,618 (+20 percent)

Autos (public and private terminals): 753,265 (vs 792,795 in 2014)

Forest Products – Paper (public terminals): 398,618 tons (+20 percent)

Cruise: 193,709 passengers cruised from the Port of Baltimore in 2015.

Maersk Line began calling Baltimore in 2015 and now operates three weekly container services with the Mediterranean Shipping Company involving the Port of Baltimore. Last year, too, the MPA signed Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) to a new 30-year contract. WWL has played a large role in making Baltimore a leading handling of ro/ro cargo – autos and light trucks as well as farm and construction machinery.

In summary, approximately 32.4 million tons of international cargo valued at approximately $51.1 billion was handled at Baltimore’s public and private terminals in 2015, compared to 29.5 million tons worth $52.5 billion in 2014.  Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs in the Baltimore area, more than 127,000 jobs in Maryland, nearly $3 billion in personal wages and salary, and more than $310 million in state and local tax revenues.

Baltimore’s Dundalk (foreground) and Seagirt marine terminals
Photo/Maryland Port Administration

Long Beach: February Container Count Up 36 Percent

The Port of Long Beach reports container throughput this February jumped 35.9 percent from a year ago to 561,412 TEUs.  It was the port’s highest volume February ever and its eighth consecutive month of growth.

In detail, the February data show across-the-board gains for imports (+44.7 percent), exports (+11.1 percent), and empty containers (+45.7 percent).  Nearly 1.1 million TEUs moved through the Port of Long Beach during the first two months of 2016, up 30.3 percent from 842,604 TEUS in January-February 2015.

"In February, we showed the world we can handle today’s megaships by inaugurating the 18,000-TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin," said Port CEO Jon Slangerup. "The future of big ships is here and our customers are choosing Long Beach because we offer the fastest, most efficient way to get cargo from Asia to the rest of the United States."

The port says the strength of the U.S. dollar helped drive demand for imports. It also notes that the Lunar New Year holiday began Feb. 8, closing many Chinese businesses for a week or more, so U.S. importers ordered extra products ahead of the lull that will come to the port in early March.

See the latest monthly container traffic figures.

Los Angeles TEUs Set February Record  

The Port of Los Angeles recorded its busiest February ever, with volume soaring 42 percent from February 2015 to 713,721 TEUs. Imports alone surged 46.6 percent, while exports were up 11.1 percent and empty containers ahead by 66.8 percent.

That followed January’s record performance and gave the port a year-to-date total of 1.4 million TEUs and an increase of 37.4 percent compared to January-February 2015.

"Back to back record months to start 2016 indicate consumer confidence in the U.S. economy and strong shipper confidence in our terminal and supply chain partners to deliver on speed and efficiency," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

As the port explained, February volumes were buoyed in part by U.S. importers bringing in products from Asia ahead of the Lunar Year, which began February 8 and slowed production for several weeks in China. It expects the February surge will be followed by a more subdued March for imports. Exports are being impacted by the high value of the U.S. dollar versus foreign currencies.

View current and past container counts for the Port of Los Angeles. 

Vancouver USA: Record Revenues, Cargo Tonnage in 2015

The Port of Vancouver USA is celebrating 2015 as another record-breaking year for revenue and tonnage in the port’s 104-year history.

Operating revenues totaling $38.2 million beat the 2014 record of $37.5 million. Import and export cargo totaled 6.95 million metric tons, a nearly 5.5 percent increase from 2014.

Operating expenses also grew in 2015 to accommodate new staff and investments in infrastructure and facilities such as Centennial Industrial Park and Terminal 1, the port’s waterfront project.

Export cargo tonnage rose 3.8 percent. Grain – wheat, corn and soybeans – remained the port’s largest export, accounting for 4.56 million tons and an increase from 2014 of 6.4 percent. Corn exports were up 19.5 percent and soybeans by 58.6 percent.  United Grain Corp. is Vancouver’s primary grain handler.

Imports rose 12 percent, thanks in great part to steel and project cargo. Steel slabs, a new commodity for the port in 2014, boosted steel shipments to 770,627 tons, an increase of 30.5 percent from 2014. Project cargo, such as massive transformers for a Bonneville Power Administration energy project, saw a 103 percent increase.

Longtime tenant Subaru of America renewed it lease in 2015, extending its partnership with the port until at least 2030. Subaru’s imports at the Port of Vancouver jumped 10 percent in 2015 to a record 90,183 vehicles.

"Our docks are busy, our industrial facilities are full and we’re making great strides on critical projects like Centennial Industrial Park and the waterfront redevelopment," said Port CEO Todd Coleman. "We’ve added some great folks to our world-class staff to make sure we’re growing thoughtfully and planning for the future." 

Port of Vancouver on the Columbia River
Photo/Port of Vancouver USA

Virginia: February TEU Volumes Hit 220,000 Mark; Richmond and Inland Port Terminals Show Solid Growth   

The Port of Virginia reports February container throughput at its Hampton Roads maritime terminals jumped 24 percent from a year ago to 220,726 TEUs.  

"Last February’s volumes were affected by several snowstorms, but it is important to note that the strength of our increase was far greater than the impact of last year’s weather," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.   

The port’s February data also show gains in rail volume (+51 percent), truck volume (+12 percent), and ship calls (+10 percent). New rubber-tire gantry cranes delivered in early January and placed in vice in February helped boost rail throughput at Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals.

Traffic increases of 42 percent and 96 percent, respectively, underscored Mr. Reinhart’s belief in the "overall importance" of the Richmond Marine Terminal and Virginia Inland Port "to our capacity to efficiently handle cargo outside of our primary facilities and meet the needs of our customers."  

View Virginia cargo traffic details.







Back to AAPA Seaports Advisory

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn