In the first three months of 2016, Los Angeles and Long Beach took in 37% of all imports to the country arriving in containers, down from 43% during the same period in 2007.
The Port of Los Angeles paid a Chinese government-owned shipping company $5 million in 2005 to equip cargo vessels to plug into electric shore power while at dock to keep their massive diesel engines from polluting neighborhoods near the harbor.
The Port of Los Angeles handled 704,398 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in January 2016, an increase of 33 percent compared to January 2015. It was the busiest January in the port’s 109-year history.
The Port of Long Beach reported a 7% increase in imports, while neighboring Los Angeles reported a 4.5% decline from a year earlier.
The largest container ship ever to call at a North American port is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Los Angeles on Dec.26th. French shipping line CMA-CGM launched the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin on Dec. 10. The vessel is scheduled to make her maiden call at APM Terminals-Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles. The ship has a capacity of nearly 18,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), which is about a third larger than the biggest container ships that currently call at the San Pedro Bay port complex.
A series of startups are vying to become an “Uber of trucking,” leveraging truck drivers’ smartphones to quickly connect them with nearby companies looking to ship goods. The upstarts aim to reinvent a fragmented U.S. trucking industry that has long relied on third-party brokers, essentially travel agents for trucking who connect truckers with customers.
Wringing enough pollution out of trucks and other cargo-moving vehicles to get Southern California’s ozone levels down to 70 ppb will require a “paradigm shift” to battery-electric and fuel cell technology, said Scott Samuelsen, an engineering professor who directs the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UC Irvine. The key question, he said, “is how to make an economically viable transition of a freight industry that’s evolved with diesel engines.”
Overall cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles declined 2.5 percent on a year-over-year basis last month to more than 699,000 standard container units.
All that international trade creates tens of thousands of jobs in California along supply chains that reach out through the Inland Empire counties of San Bernardino and Riverside and into the Central Valley. The gateways also serve the state’s manufacturers and farmers, who last year shipped more than $170 billion in merchandise abroad. And crucially in a state with ever-widening income disparities and that ranks 48th in the percentage of adults with no more than a high school education, the freight industry almost uniquely continues to offer large numbers of unskilled blue-collar workers a chance to earn middle-class wages.
Fearing a similar slide into irrelevance, port operators from Newark, N.J., to Long Beach, Calif., are spending billions of dollars to dredge harbors, raise bridges and build larger terminals to accommodate megaships.
In addition to 1,000 jobs announced earlier this month, the news takes the company’s hiring roster to 2,000.