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Feb.8, 2016

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INTERNATIONAL MARITIME 20 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE FEBRUARY 8.2016 Los Angeles-Long Beach in the south and the Pacific Northwest ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, British Columbia. On the East Coast, Ports America is investing heavily in Port Newark Container Terminal in New Jer- sey and the Seagirt Terminal in Baltimore. Ports America also has a terminal in Miami that should attract new business when the Panama Canal expansion project is com- pleted, according to Chief Strategy Officer Peter Ford. The concentration of big-ship calls at fewer gateways, and the aggregation of con- tainers owned by multiple carriers on each vessel, are placing demands on terminal operators to modernize their facilities with taller, super-post-Panamax cranes, on-dock rail and other costly infrastructure improve- ments, Ford emphasized. The physical demands on individual ter- minals are unprecedented. An 18,000-TEU vessel calling at Los Angeles-Long Beach at 90 percent utilization could generate as many as 17,800 container moves during its four-to- five day stay, Larry Nye, vice president of port planning at engineering consultant Moffatt & Nichol, told the JOC Port Performance North America Conference in December. When that same vessel moves up the coast to Oakland, however, the container moves drop significantly. When the 18,000- TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin called in Los Angeles in late December, it gener- ated 11,200 container lifts. The vessel then called Oakland, where it generated 2,200 container moves before returning to Asia. This scenario is resulting in a four- corners logistics strategy where carriers concentrate on the primary gateways of Los Angeles-Long Beach, Seattle-Tacoma- Vancouver, New York-New Jersey and Savannah-Charleston. Ports America appears to be working in that direction. The company has a 30 percent stake in the ITS terminal in Long Beach, with "K" Line holding 70 percent. "We've done a great deal there, and there's a lot more to do to prepare for the ultra-large ships," Ford said. Similarly, Ports America is investing in its West Basin Container Terminal in Los Angeles in equipment and technology, "and we still have a lot to do," he said. Ports America also is crystallizing its Pacific Northwest strategy at the Husky and Olympic container terminals in Tacoma. The company is investing in taller cranes, more cargo-handling equipment and termi- nal upgrades as it moves toward "managing the whole central peninsula," Ford said. Ports America is looking even farther north to Roberts Bank near Vancouver, the site of a future container terminal. Ports America is on the short list of bidders to operate the new terminal, Ford said. Van - couver and Prince Rupert, 500 miles to the north, are growing gateways for the Mid- west with direct intermodal rail service to Chicago. On the East Coast, carriers are developing a similar strategy by concentrating their big- ship calls in the north and the south, although the mid-Atlantic is also in contention because of the deeper harbors already in place in Nor- folk and Baltimore. Ports America is investing in terminal upgrades, equipment and cranes at Port Newark Container Terminal and at Seagirt in Baltimore to be prepared for ves- sels as large as 16,000 TEUs. Although the Panama Canal Authority has said vessels of up to 14,000 TEUs will be able to transit when the third set of locks is complete, Ford said the designs of some newer vessels could allow 16,000-TEU ships to fit, and Ports America will be ready for them on the East Coast. Ports America's investments in Balti- more and Miami are interesting because those ports aren't usually included with New York-New Jersey and Savannah- Cha rleston as the la rgest East Coast gateways for mega-ships. Baltimore, with its proven performance in vessel productivity, as analyzed in The Journal of Commerce's port and terminal productivity rankings, is ideally located to serve the large and grow- ing distribution hubs in Ohio, Ford said. The availability of on-dock rail in Baltimore makes this possible, he said. Miami, which beat out its South Atlantic competitors in the race to dredge a 50-foot harbor, also should do well with the expan- sion of the canal, Ford said. Because of its location serving Califor- nia's fertile Central Valley and the prevailing routing of Pacific Southwest services to call first at Los Angeles-Long Beach with con- sumer merchandise imports, Oakland has always been more oriented toward exports than imports, U.S. exports have slipped over the past two years because of the strong dollar and economic sluggishness in major trading partners such as China and Japan. Still, with an annual throughput of more than 2 million TEUs, Oakland consistently ranks among the top six or seven U.S. con- tainer ports, so it will continue to modernize its facilities to handle mega-ships. JOC Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at and follow him on Twitter: @billmongelluzzo. Tacoma Vancouver Oakland Concord Port Hueneme Los Angeles San Diego Corpus Christi Freeport Galveston Houston Port Arthur Beaumont Baton Rouge New Orleans Gulfport Tampa Miami Jacksonville Brunswick Savannah Charleston Sunny Point Wilmington Baltimore Jersey City New York Newark Davisville Providence Boston Portland Bayonne Port Everglades Port Canaveral Norfolk Wilmington, DE Camden Long Beach Philadelphia Stevedore Terminal Operator / Stevedore PORTS AMERICAS' U.S. OPERATIONS

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