Friday, August 6, 2010

California Ports Gain Some Container Shipping - And Lose Some

Good and Bad News for Long Beach
Shipping News Feature

US – Local press reports indicate that it has been a variable week for the Port of Long Beach. The Matson Navigation Company have apparently confirmed that they will introduce new vessels into service from China adding over 230,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU’s) annually to the ports turnover by their own estimates. Matson will commence the second string of container ships, average capacity 3,500 TEU’s, from later this month, to be fully operational by October. The vessels will be deployed on the weekly China – Long Beach Express (CLX) service from the ports of Hong Kong, Shenzhen and bi-weekly from Shanghai. Matson currently offers customers a weekly service from Xiamen, Ningbo and Shanghai to Long Beach.

Whilst celebrating the extra traffic the Matson service will bring to America’s second busiest port it seems one of their long standing clients have been tempted away to local rivals the Port of Los Angeles. After around twenty five years at Long Beach, California United Terminals (CUT), a subsidiary of Hyundai Merchant Marine, will move operations to a near 100 acre site operated by APM Terminals, part of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group.

Nothing official has as yet appeared on the websites of either CUT or Port of Los Angeles but a meeting yesterday apparently confirmed the deal with CUT stating that they were concerned over the forthcoming development in the Middle Harbor at Long Beach which might encroach onto terminal space they currently rent on a monthly basis.

Apparently Long Beach is already in an advance stage of negotiations with two other parties with figures of a further traffic increase of 550,000 TEU annually being bandied about in addition to the Matson contract. Meanwhile Los Angeles officials have expressed their delight at the CUT move.

Photo:- Courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles