AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Metrics: Florida, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Montreal, Oakland, Virginia

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Cargo Business Continues to Grow at Florida Ports

Florida Seaports: A Global Threshold- 2016-2020 Five-Year Florida Seaport Mission Plan, prepared by the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council, provides updated data on Florida’s international trade and cargo and cruise activities at the state’s seaports.

The reported numbers show, for example, that Florida seaports support growing volumes of trade, lead the world in cruise traffic, and in doing so generate nearly 700,000 jobs and $96 billion in economic benefits. This year’s Seaport Mission Plan also includes port profiles, which detail recent projects and accomplishments.

Some highlights:

  • Florida’s waterborne international trade rose to $86.8 billion in 2015, a $700 million increase.
  • Florida seaports in 2015 moved more than 3.5 million container TEUs (a 5.9 percent increase) and containerized cargo valued at $49.8 billion in 2015 (a $300 million increase).
  • Florida seaports served more than 15.2 million cruise passengers in 2015; Canaveral, Miami and Port Everglades remain the world’s top cruise ports based on passenger numbers.

"The growth in container cargo around the state confirms that the global business community and U.S. businesses are recognizing the benefits of using Florida seaports to move their goods. We are also seeing gains in other cargoes and niche businesses, which highlight the diversity of our port assets," said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. "With the continued commitment by the Governor and Florida Legislature to seaport infrastructure, we expect those numbers to continue to gain momentum and bolster Florida’s economy overall."

JAXPORT: Asian Container Volumes Up 16 Percent in First Half FY2016

Jacksonville’s Asian container trade is booming, with first half FY 2016 volume up 16 percent, to 157,689 TEUs from 135,429 in FY 2015. October/September is JAXPORT’s fiscal year.

Asia now accounts for 33 percent of JAXPORT’s container cargo business, up from last year’s 31 percent and just 7 percent in FY2014.

The port has recorded an average of 28.5 percent annual growth in Asian container volumes during the past five years.

JAXPORT offers direct trade with Asian ports through both the Panama and Suez Canals. Thirteen of the 17 global ocean carriers in the Asia-U.S. trades call JAXPORT.

Other areas of JAXPORT’s business continue to grow as well, with container volumes to and from Puerto Rico growing 10 percent and the shipment of breakbulk cargoes, such as fertilizer, metals, forest products, perishables and project cargo increasing 34 percent in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

Major harbor improvement projects underway include deepening the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet.
JAXPORT continues to invest in major growth projects including a new on-dock rail facility opening summer 2016, new 100-gauge container cranes to be operational at Blount Island in the fall and ongoing upgrades to terminal berths, docks and rail. 

Los Angeles: Container Imports Increase 4.7 % in April; Overall Year-to-Date Volume up 8%

Import laden cargo container volumes at the Port of Los Angeles increased 4.7 percent in April compared to April 2015.  

"We’re encouraged that shippers and supply chain decision makers continue to show confidence in the Port of Los Angeles," said Executive Director Gene Seroka. "While the pace of global trade and U.S. retailer imports has eased recently, our work and progress on supply chain optimization has put the Port of Los Angeles on track to drive market opportunities."

The April data also show declines from a year ago of 1.0 percent for outbound container loads, 10 .9 percent in empty containers, and 1.0 percent in container volume overall.  Total throughput – imports, exports and empty containers – for the year through April was up 8 percent from January-April 2015.

View current and past Port of Los Angeles container counts.

Montreal Port Authority: Another Year of Growth in 2015; Major Projects in the Works  

In 2015, cargo traffic handled at the Port of Montreal rose 5.2 percent from the previous year to a record 32 million metric tons.

"This increase is very satisfactory. It reflects the fact that, more than ever, the Port of Montreal is a real growth force! Several structuring projects also progressed in 2015," said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) at the annual meeting held on May 13.

Containerized cargo grew 4.1 percent in 2015 to 13.1 million tons, or nearly 1.5 million TEUs. About half of Montreal’s cargo is containerized, making it the port’s largest sector of operations.

Dry bulk – mainly grain and iron ore  increased 3.6 percent to 8.7 million tons.

Liquid bulk accounted for some 10 million tons, an 8 percent increase from 2014 that the port says was partly due falling oil prices, which favored imports.

The port’s cruise business set records for the fifth consecutive year. In 2015, Montreal accommodated 72 vessel stopovers, for a total of nearly 91,000 passengers and crew members, a 28 percent increase from 2014.
The financial results, in turn, reflect this sustained growth of port operations. The port authority’s operating revenues rose 9 percent to C$102.6 million, while expenses increased by just 2.5% to C$83 million, resulting in operating profit of C$19.3 million.

The year 2015 was also characterized by a non-recurring item of no cash flow effect, related to modifications to past service costs of other employee benefit plans. This non-recurring item combined with financial products resulted in a net profit of C$42.2 million.

In 2015, several large-scale projects moved ahead at the Port of Montreal. The MPA's total capital expenditures amounted to C$44 million.

In January 2015, the MPA announced the development of a new container terminal that will boost the port’s throughput capacity on the Island of Montreal will reach 2.2 million TEUs.

The MPA also announced the restoration of Alexandra Pier and Iberville Passenger Terminal, a project that is part of the celebrations for Montreal's 375th anniversary in 2017.

Several other projects shaped the year 2015 at the Port of Montreal, including the installation of shore power and the implementation of the GHG Project. The MPA also began the federal environmental process required for the future development of a container terminal at Contrecœur.

Viewdigital version of the port authority’s 2015 highlights.

Port of Oakland Exports Rebound for Fourth Straight Month

The export rebound continues at the Port of Oakland. Containerized exports measured in TEUs increased 7 percent in April from a year ago, giving the port its fourth consecutive month of increases. The January-April was up 16.3 percent, to 229,827 TEUs from last year’s 257,850. That contrasts with the 11.5 percent drop the port’s export trade experienced in 2015.

The port attributed export gains to a weaker dollar that makes U.S. goods more affordable overseas.

"We’re pleased to see export volume growing," said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. "It’s a sign that business is picking up for our customers."

Oakland handles roughly equal numbers of import- and export-laden container containers. That contrasts with most other U.S. ports where imports generally exceed exports by a substantial margin.

Total cargo volume in Oakland – imports, exports and empty containers – declined 6.3 percent in April, largely due to a 29 percent drop in empty container movements. The year's through-April total, however, was up 11.3 percent.

Visit the port website for details.

Virginia: Port Moves 215,000 TEUs in April; Calendar Year Growth at 4%

The Port of Virginia reports April container volumes at its Hampton Roads terminals totaled 215,254 TEUs, an increase from last year of 2.4 percent. Double-digit gains were posted by its Virginia Inland Port (VIP) and Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT).

Other April data show year-on-year growth in truck and rail container moves, vehicle units, and ship calls. Container throughput for January-April rose 4 percent, to 842,010 TEUs from last year’s 809,689. View a detailed traffic profile.

"Our volumes were modest and we see some softness in the market in the coming months," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. "Still, the value of VIP and RMT is clear and as we begin our effort to add capacity, the importance of those facilities is going to continue to elevate. Our port-wide reinvestment strategy is well underway. In Richmond, we unveiled a new mobile harbor crane in February."

The port authority has applied for a federal grant to enhance cargo handling capabilities at VIP.

"The Port of Virginia is entering an important growth phase – a million containers of capacity will be added -- and as work begins, we will be utilizing all of our facilities to serve our customers and minimize the challenges that construction can present. Our goal is to maintain our service levels throughout the expansion," he said.

The first large-scale capacity project will be to rebuild the upland operation at the South Berth of Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). The $350 million project will increase annual throughput capacity at NIT by 46 percent, or 400,000 containers.

"We continue to grow in what is a very competitive environment," Mr. Reinhart said. "We are meeting the needs and challenges of our customers and our market and are doing so while maintaining our service levels, controlling cost and continuing to refine the operation."


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