Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Port of Hueneme Has Best-Ever Fiscal Year

Despite concerns in recent months about reduced productivity related to federal sequestration, the Port of Hueneme’s 2012-2013 fiscal year turned out to be its best ever for cargo movement.

The total tonnage for the recently ended FY 2012-2013 jumped to about 1.4 million metric tons, representing a 9.2 percent jump over FY 2011-2012, and a 2.8 percent increase over the port’s previous record of 1.39 million metric tons, set in FY 2005-2006.

The port attributes its growth in freight activity in the niche markets of automobiles, high and heavy cargo, fresh produce, fertilizer, and domestic commodities like fish and petroleum products.

Automobile imports rose over 12 percent over the previous fiscal year, while exports were steady at a 1.2 percent growth. A portion of this increase is attributed to additional imports from Hyundai and Kia. A large fraction of the export increase, according to the port, was driven by more foreign manufacturers, specifically Honda and Toyota, operating from new facilities within the United States and sending their autos to the Asian market.

Shallow draft cargo -- fish, lube oil, and vessel fuel -- increased 6.6 percent for the year, according to port data, while offshore domestic oil trade saw a 1.1 percent decrease.

The port’s most recent fiscal year ended June 30, 2013. Back in March, due to federal sequestration, US Customs and Border Protection inspections were cut back by one day a week at Hueneme, leading to complaints by port officials, vessel operators and others.

The cutbacks, however, have not led to lengthy, sustained cargo backlogs.