PORT HOUSTON SEES SURGE IN CONTAINER EXPORTS
As U.S. imports continue to come in well below last year’s records, Port Houston has announced that its container exports are surpassing historic volumes seen in 2022, signalling strong growth in the region. Loaded exports, particularly driven by the demand for resin exports, have increased by an impressive 17% year-to-date compared to last year. The port has handled a total of 1,026,260 loaded TEUs (imports and exports) through April, surpassing the one million-mark earlier in the year than ever before. While a slight softening of import container cargo was anticipated this year compared to the record-breaking volumes of 2022, loaded containers at Port Houston have still shown a 3% increase for the year. Although April saw a decline of 10% in loaded containers compared to April 2022, Port Houston says the overall trend remains positive. In terms of total container volume, Port Houston experienced an 8% decline in April 2023 compared to the same month last year, amounting to 307,879 TEUs. However, the year-to-date total container volumes have remained relatively flat, totalling 1,241,910 TEUs so far this year.
APM Terminals Reveals $1 Billion Investment in Brazil
Maersk’s container terminal operating arm APM Terminals has announced a $1 billion investment in its Brazilian terminals by 2026. The commitment was made by APM Terminals’ CEO Keith Svendsen during a Dutch trade delegation’s visit to Brazil. Out of the total EUR962 million investment, EUR296 million will be dedicated to the Phase One development of a new terminal in Suape, with a total investment of EUR483 million for the project. The Suape terminal, located in Estaleiro Atlântico Sul, is in the final stages of acquisition and aims to enhance infrastructure and boost competition in the port. APM Terminals is negotiating with the federal government to extend its concession agreement for the BTP terminal, set to expire in 2027, for an additional 20 years. In return, the company intends to modernize and double the terminal’s current capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.
NY-NJ PORT STAKEHOLDERS IMPROVE TRUCKER EXPERIENCE AS DOWNTURN CUTS WORK
As a drop-in cargo activity threatens the livelihood of port truckers, officials and terminal operators at the Port of New York and New Jersey want to improve the experience of those drivers so they stick around once volumes do rebound. The initiatives come as more drivers are chasing fewer containers at New York-New Jersey. March 2023 saw import volumes drop 35.4% from a year earlier to 286,142 TEUs, according to data from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). That’s the lowest level of imports through the port since June 2020.
WHITE HOUSE PORT ENVOY OPTIMISTIC FOR WEST COAST LABOR DEAL
A tentative agreement covering longshore workers at the largest US ports is within reach after a year of negotiations between the union and employers, according to a Biden administration official involved in the talks. Many importers and retailers have diverted cargo away from West Coast ports since contract negotiations began last May, worried about potential supply chain disruptions caused by labour actions or lockouts. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents ocean carriers and terminal operators at 29 ports from California to Washington State, have been working without a contract since the last one expired on July 1, 2022. Recent disruptions at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach have largely ceased, and the PMA and the ILWU’s Local 13 chapter have agreed on manning requirements for cargo handling equipment at certain terminals.
PORT OF LONG BEACH UNVEILS CONCEPT FOR LARGEST WIND TURBINE FACILITY IN THE US
The Port of Long Beach has revealed plans for an ambitious floating offshore wind facility aimed at assisting California in meeting its target of 25 GW of offshore wind power by 2045 and contributing to a 70% reduction in the national cost of this renewable energy by 2035. Known as Pier Wind, the facility would support the manufacture and assembly of offshore wind turbines standing as tall as the Eiffel Tower and would be the largest of its kind at any US seaport.
BNSF TO LAUNCH NEW HOUSTON INTERMODAL SERVICE IN JUNE
BNSF Railway next month will begin regular intermodal service from the Port of Houston to Dallas and Denver, just over one year after it began testing market demand for rail service from the fast growing Gulf Coast port. In a service advisory Monday, BNSF said it will offer service from Houston’s Barbour’s Cut container terminal to its Alliance facility in Dallas and to its Denver intermodal facility beginning June 2.