Complacency is not an option for U.S. ports

With the Panama canal expansion meeting its deadline in late 2015, shippers are busy determining which gateways would best serve their future needs. But even more strategic complexity has been introduced this year with consolidation of ocean carrier services. Rather than whistling in the dark, the leading ocean cargo gateways are keeping their guard up.

By ·

With the Panama canal expansion meeting its deadline in late 2015, shippers are busy determining which gateways would best serve their future needs. But even more strategic complexity has been introduced this year with consolidation of ocean carrier services. Rather than whistling in the dark, the leading ocean cargo gateways are keeping their guard up.

According to Ben Hackett, president of the maritime consultancy Hackett Associates, the P3 and G6 carrier alliances will not change the current ports comprising his monthly “Port Tracker” newsletter.

The ports surveyed in the report issued by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates include: Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, Houston, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, and Savannah, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Port Everglades.

“NY/NJ will always be a major destination because of the population concentration. The same is true of LA/Long Beach,” says Hackett. “Oakland and Savannah are important because they represent two of the best export gateways. Finally, Norfolk and Seattle/Tacoma are attractive because they have sufficiently deep harbors to handle the mega vessels.”

Hackett notes that alliance carriers will also continue to use their respective terminals, thereby ameliorating dockside disruption. He does concede, however, that drayage may be complicated in the future.

“With the influx of these massive container ships, truckers will have many more boxes to move at once,” he observes. “As a consequence, you can expect ports to demand more transparency in the drayage process.”

While relatively minor, the Gulf ports of New Orleans and Corpus Christi play a significant role as a transshipment hub, as does the Port of Boston and Philadelphia in the East. On the West Coast, the niche Port of Portland and Vancouver USA remain viable for many shippers. None of these players, however, will find a place in “Port Tracker” in the near future.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...