AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Traffic Metrics: Georgia, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Virginia

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Georgia Ports: Strong Demand Drives Record Growth

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) experienced strong growth in containerized, auto and breakbulk trade in March.
Cargo shipments at its terminals statewide totaled 2.89 million short tons, an increase from last year of 9.8 percent that made it the busiest March in GPA history.

Container throughput at the Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah rose 5.6 percent to 311,770 TEUs.  
Ro/ro traffic at the GPA’s Colonel’s Island Terminal in the Port of Brunswick jumped 22.5 percent to 56,580 units, including autos, trucks and tractors.

Double-digit gains were also posted this March for breakbulk cargo, up 10.5 percent from a year ago to 232,601 tons.  Iron and steel skyrocketed 82 percent (to 35,598 tons).  Forest products exports via Mayor's Point Terminal in Brunswick more than doubled, from 5,347 tons in March 2016 to 11,337 tons.

"Strong demand from retail and manufacturing customers -- both in the U.S. and abroad - is driving growth in Savannah and Brunswick," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "As existing port users expand their trade through our terminals and new customers tap into Georgia's connectivity to major population centers across the Southeast, we expect to see additional job and economic development opportunities for our region."

Surging Imports Power March Cargo Gains at Long Beach

Containers arriving in Long Beach with goods for U.S. consumers spiked 20.2 percent in March compared to the same month in 2016, pushing the port to its best first quarter since 2007.

Other March data show gains from a year ago of 5.3 percent, 4.2 percent for empty containers, and 8.7 percent for container traffic overall (to 505,382 TEUs). Traffic year-to-date totaled nearly 1.6 million TEUs, up 1.5 percent from first quarter to 2016. Click here for detail.

"We’re happy to see these gains during the traditionally slow period of the year," said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. "We see a lot of upside for the remainder of 2017 as we expand our partnership with the world’s second-largest line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., add new business and strengthen our relationships with our partners."

Los Angeles Container Trade Jumped 29 Percent in March

Port of Los Angeles container trade grew in double-digit increments last month, up 29 percent from a year ago to a March record of 788,524 TEUs. The robust numbers came through a combination of strong export volumes (up 20 percent), a post Lunar New Year surge of cargo from Asia, and U.S. retailers shipping merchandise ahead of the new vessel alliance deployments that began this month.  

In detail, the March TEU data reflect increases from a year ago of 30.1 percent for inbound loads, 20.3 percent for outbound loads, and 34.2 percent for empty containers. Volume for the year through January set a first quarter record of 2.24 million TEUs. Click here for detail.

"We are pleased to end the first quarter of 2017 with strong volumes and continually efficient cargo handling operations," said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. "We continue to earn the confidence of shippers and are encouraged by the strength of our supply chain partners. In the coming months, we will remain laser focused on infrastructure improvements, technology solutions, and a strategic use of resources to ensure that we meet the needs of our marine terminal customers and the carriers they serve."

Virginia: Container Volumes Grow; Preparations for 13,000-TEU Vessel

The Port of Virginia® reports container throughput this March at its Hampton Roads terminals reached 232,148 TEUs, an 8.9 percent increase from a year ago. The year-to-date total of 681,042 TEUs, up 8.2 from January-March 2016, set a first quarter record.

The March data also show year-on-year gains of for containerized cargo tons (+8.1 percent), vehicle units, vehicle units (+30 percent), and containers transported to and from the port by rail (+3.3 percent), truck (+12.4 percent), and barge (+29.7 percent). The attachment provides further detail.

The continued growth comes as the port prepares for the arrival of the largest container ship to call a U.S. East Coast port. The 13,062-TEU capacity COSCO Development is scheduled to dock May 8 at Virginia International Gateway following transit via the expanded Panama Canal. Some 4,000 containers will be transferred to and from the vessel during its Hampton Roads visit - nearly triple the moves for a typical container vessel call at the Virginia port.

"March was the fourth busiest month in our history and our growth was 9 percent when compared with last March," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. "We are expecting volume to remain in positive territory as we move into spring and look forward to peak season. The new ocean carrier alliances will be fully operational this month and we will be seeing more big ships, like the COSCO Development, moving considerable amounts of cargo. As these ships arrive, planning and preparation are going to be paramount to our efficiency." 


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