NITL to examine wide range of ocean cargo concerns
November 14, 2011
When the National Industrial Transportation League’s ocean transportation committee meets in Atlanta this week, several vital issues will be addressed, said chairman, Don Pisano.
“We are chiefly concerned about cargo diversion away from U.S. West Coast ports to gateways in Canada,” he said. “This is something the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is also examining.”
Pisano told LM that his committee will also be looking at the FMC’s ongoing investigation of fixed rates on the transpacific.
In an interview conducted late last summer, Pisano said that “Slow steaming” on the transpacific, will continue to hurt the long-term competitive position of U.S. West Coast ports. He added that hikes in night gate rates and potential labor slowdowns will also have an impact.
“For a number of other reasons, we expect to see a shift from the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach toward all water services to the Gulf Coast ports, particularly for lower valued products which are less sensitive to longer transit times,” he said.
Zepol Corporation, a leading trade intelligence company, noted in a recent report that imports from Asia continued a downward trend for the second consecutive month, with twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) slipping 1.5 percent from September.
Ports in the Pacific region of the U.S. increased TEU imports by 0.67 percent in October, after posting a 9 percent decrease in September. Imports into the Port of L.A. increased 4.5 percent while imports into the Port of Long Beach decreased 8.8 percent from September. The Port of Oakland saw imports drop for the second consecutive month.
“Shippers don’t exercise that much influence over port calls,” said Pisano, “but if we see that the Port of Jacksonville, for example, is more efficient seasonally than neighboring ports, we will look into the first-call vessel deployments.”
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