Ready, Willing and Able

With respect to reports emanating from port officials at LA/Long Beach stating that other West Coast ports are also operating at close to their physical capacity, a cursory examination will show the inaccuracy of that assessment.

The Port of San Diego — “We are troubled that Los Angeles and Long Beach are experiencing some problems, but we are pleased that we have the capacity here in San Diego to handle additional business. It is only natural that shippers have come to see the benefits of loading and offloading goods at the Port of San Diego. We welcome the business and we will do everything in our power to keep the business here. In San Diego, they don’t have to wait four to fourteen days to unload. We have the capacity. We can get the ships into our port today.” — Stephen P. Cushman, Port Commissioner

Port of Hueneme — There are more than 4,000 feet of wharf space in use and some 250,000 feet of warehousing available. The port is called “Ventura County’s Gateway to World Trade” and is also known as “The Southern California Alternative”. (Now what do you suppose they mean by that?)

The Port of San Francisco — Goals specified in the Strategic Plan clearly state the port’s intention to increase the volume of cargo shipping and to make the necessary infrastructure improvements to make cargo terminals more efficient.

San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay — The Port of Oakland has been vociferous in its comments about the conditions that have been developing in the LA/Long Beach complex these past few years. A significant number of vessels diverted from LA/Long Beach to Oakland this past month and were welcomed with open arms. “Frisco”, a term of endearment among Navy personnel years ago, has been a haven for seamen and their ocean going vessels for centuries. It would be a lot less trouble and a lot less expensive for shippers and terminal operators to set up new container terminals in old Navy facilities at Mare Island, Alameda Point, Treasure Island, Hunter’s Point (and the Annex), FISC Oakland, and even areas within San Pablo Bay. Space isn’t in short supply in this region.

The Port of Portland, OR — There isn’t a more aggressive port on the West Coast. A void was created when “K” Line and Hyundai Shipping departed but it didn’t take long for Hanjin to leave LA/Long Beach and tie up at Terminal 6. Bill Wyatt, the port’s Executive Director, called it a “solid start” for rebuilding capacity, and insisted that the port would continue to look for additional carriers. “Portland is a competitive port, and this gives us even more optimism for the future,” he said.

Grays Harbor, WA — On the 9th and 10th of this month this column provided some descriptive material on this port, (“How Do You Spell Relief” and “A Haven”). Until recently this logging port’s four terminals and 500+ acres were going full tilt, but now that lumber operations have been scaled back the port’s future lies with container cargos. The infrastructure is in place, it is operational, and it is used infrequently.