At least two ships arriving at the Port of Los Angeles have been diverted to alternative terminals in response to infrastructure overload and equipment issues owing to the recent surge in trans-Pacific cargo volumes.
The Hyundai Bangkok and the Hyundai Splendor, set to arrive on the US West Coast in early October, will now berth at the Trapac and YTI terminals, respectively.
This was the most recent move made to reduce volume strains and “ease the current hectic terminal situation” at the Port of Los Angeles, said member of THE Alliance, ONE, in a notice to customers on Sept. 29.
The Port of Los Angeles posted a record high container volume in August as strong US demand for consumer goods sharply increased shipping rates.
The port has ongoing operational issues as a result of increased import demand on the trans-Pacific lane and equipment shortages throughout the Pacific Southwest.
Total throughput at the port in August was 961,833 twenty-foot equivalent units, up 12% from the same month last year, the port announced on Sept. 15.
THE Alliance, the smallest of the three container shipping alliances, has a combined capacity of 3.67 million TEUs. ONE is a member along with Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, and Yang Ming Marine.
With trans-Pacific container rates at an all-time high, even more containers are flowing from Asia to the US. The return leg is a different story, however, with empty space frequently seen on board. The US agriculture industry has spotted this crack, and expectations are high that containerized soybeans, wheat, and corn could fill the gap.
In this episode of S&P Global Platts Commodities Focus podcast, container freight markets editors Baoying Ng, George Griffiths, and Greg Holt, as well as agriculture markets editor Mugunthan Kesavan, discuss the ongoing market trends and the longer term prospects.