[photopress:logistics_ships.jpg,full,alignright]There is a slump in transpacific shipping and it is hurting the West Coast ports in the US. The ports and intermodal operators are being hit hard and it seems to be worsening. There has been a sharp drop in Asia-US imports in the past two months.
The San Pedro port complex of Los Angeles-Long Beach is the gateway for 70% West Coast traffic. It reports import volume fell 8.8% in both January and February on a year by year comparison basis. The US demand is being eroded by high fuel costs and a weakening economy which still has not got to grips with the sub-prime problem.
To give an idea of the size of the problem three of the largest global carriers — Danish shipping-giant Maersk Line, French carrier CMA CGM Group and Swiss company Mediterranean Shipping — are sharing space on the same ships instead of operating their own weekly transpacific shipping services. This way they may be able to cut transportation costs by as much as 30%.
What is not often realized is how large are the stakes.
Our illustration the full size of some of these ships. Click on GCaptain and see the comparative size of the vessels and the cargo they carry (nearly a quarter of a mile long and some dwarf the Titanic) and you can see filling those for every voyage is no easy task.
Source: CargoNews Asia