Here are some of the statements that may have come to your attention in the past few months.
“In the U.S. we are severely challenged. What’s happening in Southern California is not sustainable. We need more productivity per acre. We need to move vessels faster. It’s not enough just to dredge channels and develop efficient shoreside terminals. We must address the rail infrastructure issue. We need to address highway congestion.”
— Peter Keller, COO of NYK Line North America
“Working 24/7 is not going to solve our problems. We will need major infrastructure improvements.”
— Gill Hicks, Former GM of Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority
“Terminal capacity and rail capacity worldwide are growing more slowly than vessel capacity. The rail infrastructure is a critical problem … Trade is growing at 10 percent a year. Where are we going to have the capacity to handle that? What does supply and demand matter if I can’t get my ship alongside a berth?”
— Ron Widdows, CEO of APL, Ltd.
“There is more container availability than there is transportation capacity. Trucking has gone way up, but that supply is limited, too.”
— Captain Ivan Lantz, Operations Manager, Shipping Federation of Canada
“It’s like trying to fit a 16-inch pipe into a 4-inch opening.”
— Jean Godwin, Senior VP at the AAPA
“We’re not going to double the space for container terminals … We need to find innovative ways.”
— Rick Larrabee, Port of NY/NJ
“Without aggressive modernization of facilities and operations, U.S. seaports risk losing business not only to other modes of transport but to other foreign ports.”
— Daniel Griswold, Director, The Cato Institute
“The West Coast cannot get enough gangs to unload vessels, there are not enough chassis to go around in many ports and inland facilities, the rail carriers are full, truckers are having a tough time keeping drivers, and the roads to the docks are overloaded every day.”
— John T. Hyatt, VP of Irwin Brown Co.
“We’re falling about 25 to 30 gangs short … We must never get in this position again.”
— James McKenna, President of PMA
“In my opinion, there isn’t a greater challenge facing our economy today than the challenge of safe and efficient freight movement in an ever expanding global market.”
— Chuck Raymond, President and CEO of Horizon Lines
“Member lines and their customers are grappling with transit time delays of eight to nine days that are largely beyond their control, and infrastructure gridlock that will easily take more than a year to fix.”
— Brian Conrad, TSA Director
“The Southern California ports in the last few years greatly expanded their terminals, but the supporting infrastructure wasn’t expanded in step with that capacity increase.”
— Brendan Dugan, Port of Tacoma Senior Director
“Ships calling at Los Angeles-Long Beach must wait anywhere from two to four shifts before being assigned labor. Once the containers are taken off the ship, they may sit for two or three days because the Western railroads lack the locomotives, railcars and staff to handle the demand.”
— Jim Andrasick, CEO, Matson Navigation Co.
“We’re looking very hard at the Gulf because the West Coast is extremely congested … it is something many of the major lines are considering.”
— Howard Finkel, Senior VP, Cosco’s American Trade Division
“We have serious intermodal problems and we need collective solutions, rather than individual finger-pointing. We want to bring everyone to the table to find solutions – the shipping lines, the ports and their terminals, the railways, trucking, importers and exporters, warehousing, and the federal, provincial and local governments.”
— John Bescec, VP of Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters
Mr. Bescec isn’t proposing something that hasn’t been tried before. His suggestion that everyone be brought to the table again should be given serious thought, however, because this website is adding a new dimension to terminal operations. Rational discussion about the system described in this website by authorities from every link in the stovepiped supply chain will lead to widespread understanding and acceptance of these patented systems.
Mr. Douglas Tilden, CEO at Marine Terminals Corp., summed everything up when he offered this advice; “We have to find a different way to operate, or else we are not going to be able to handle trade.” What could be clearer? Every step, every modification, every innovation introduced so far has provided nothing more than temporary relief at one point or another in the supply chain. This patented system is the “different” way of operation required by the containerization industry, and the longer it takes to make this changeover, the more trade we lose to our friendly neighbors to the North and to the South.
Even if we continue to ignore the admonitions of the authorities quoted above, Mr. Bescec, one of our friendly neighbors to the North, may have just provided us with an unintentional push.