Friday, August 23, 2013

Salvage Report: Picking Up the Pieces

By Kathy A Smith

The salvage industry has always had its challenges, but salvaging vessels today is getting even more complex due to the sheer size of container and cruise ships, especially. While keeping crew and passengers safe is the top priority, taking care of the environment runs a very high second.

“The environmental aspect of salvage has really come to the forefront in the last five to ten years and it now drives the operation, cost, planning and government intervention,” says Patrick Keenan, Director of Operations for Florida’s Titan Salvage, a subsidiary of Crowley Maritime. “When the environmental concerns are primary, you may have two separate salvage plans; one for fuel removal and one for wreck removal. Even a ship that’s not carrying fuel as cargo has its own bunkers, and if it’s a large ship, there is going to be quite a large volume of fuel that may have to be removed before any other operation can start.”

One of the most effective ways to remove fuel from hard-to-access fuel tanks is by hot tapping, a method that can be used, depending on the depths, attitude and condition of a wreck. The hot tapping process involves attaching a flange and isolation valve to the ship externally at the highest location of a particular fuel tank. A cutting fixture is used to cut a hole in the hull through the open isolation valve. The cutting arm is then retracted, isolation valve closed, and cutting fixture removed. Then a suction hose is attached to a connection outboard of the isolation valve, the valve is opened and the fluid in the targeted tank is extracted by pumps. A secondary hole also has to be opened so that water can come in and replace the fuel.

“Hot tapping has been used very successfully in both shallow and deeper wrecks,” says Keenan, “but sometimes it’s not needed.” For example, Titan recently responded to a tug that sank but part of the wreck was above the water line and was rolled over. In that case, salvors used a vacuum truck instead of hot tapping.

Tim Parker of Parker Diving Service in California, adds: “If you’re dealing with a ship where what they were burning was bunkers, it becomes very difficult because it’s viscous, and you’ve either got the problem of trying to heat the product up to where you can readily pump it while its submerged in water and usually in a cold temperature. Or you use an auger system that draws it but you’re not going to get as much out of the tanks with an auger system as you would by some means of heating the product.”

Global Diving and Salvage, Inc. (GDSI) has recently begun using Radioactive Isotopes to detect vessel tank and hull contents without having to put a hole in the hull. “Patented tooling also allows us to take a physical sample within a vessel’s hull while sealing the sample hole at the same time as the sample is taken,” says David DeVilbiss, Vice President of Casualty and Emergency Response for GDSI’s Seattle office. “This greatly reduces the chance of an unintended release of oil.”

There are also environmental challenges when working with a wrecked vessel located in a marine sanctuary or park, as the use of heavy equipment may not be possible because doing so will destroy what is being protected. In other situations, a vessel may not be recovered because doing so will cause more damage to the environment than just leaving it in place. In this case, salvors may be required to remove all the petroleum products only, however, there will always be a concern of a future catastrophic event should the fuel tanks, for instance, disintegrate all at once or produce a slow leak over time. Additionally, there are times when it’s not possible to remove hazardous material prior to salvage due to sea and weather conditions that could cause the ship to break apart. “You may wind up losing everything; all the hazardous materials you’re trying to save gets spread out in the ocean anyway,” says Parker.

With the advent of larger vessels, removal of hazardous toxic and explosive chemicals in salvage operations has become more difficult, for instance, trying to get to hazardous cargo that’s in a container somewhere in the middle of the stack on a large cargo ship. That’s when lightering the vessel is necessary and the container or containers that surround the container in question would be removed, then the one with the hazardous cargo would be transported to put into some kind of containment facility ashore or on a barge so any leakage could be contained.

Keenan says Titan’s hazardous response team, which includes firefighting personnel, are trained in accessing confined spaces and would deal with the hazardous materials accordingly. “We have plans for dealing with those types of situations but as the size of these container ships grow, the problems get more difficult. You have to do quite a bit of work to be able to extract containers on a ship that’s heeled over significantly, so you can’t just go up to it with a crane and pull them straight off.”

When it comes to the diving aspect of salvage operations, naturally safety is paramount, especially when hazardous materials are involved. “Many times, these materials are not disclosed or known about, so the divers need to be cognizant of this and be prepared for potential exposure,” says DeVilbiss. “Unlike planned construction and offshore projects, many salvage jobs pose risks that would never be engineered as part of the job. Proper crew training and selection plays an important part of safety. Any deviation from our normal diving practice due to unusual situations is carefully evaluated and written out in a Management of Change to address the specific hazards and mitigations for that specific scenario.”

DeVilbiss says the biggest technological change GDSI has incorporated into their salvage jobs is acoustically based. New sonar technology provides three-dimensionally accurate pictures of what’s going on underwater in real time and helps significantly with search, survey, recovery assistance and greater production in no-visibility conditions. “We can now provide a diver a heads-up display in his dive hat with a sonar view of what is in front of him in no-visibility water,” he says. “This can aid in safety and production. Underwater navigation can accurately track divers, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and other tools with six-inch accuracy in 1,000 feet of water.”

With advances in ROV technology, the inspection-class ROVs have become a staple now in terms of their use in survey and response as they’re lighter, more reliable and easier to deploy. “For instance, you might want to go inside a ship that’s upside down and you don’t know what you have in there. If you have access to swim a robot in and you have decent visibility, you might use the ROV first,” says Keenan.

Parker remarks that there are advantages and disadvantages of using ROVs versus divers. Naturally, deciding on which to use will depend on the situation at-hand. “ROVs aren’t as dexterous as divers and their operators need to be well-trained but on the other side of the coin, if you lose a machine, you’ve just lost a piece of money, not a person’s life,” he says. “The other thing is the machine doesn’t get tired or cold. I think we’re never going to get to the point where we won’t need divers but we are going to definitely reduce the need of the divers with technology.”

“Proper training can help hone diving skills, but it is very difficult to replace experience when it comes to the unique skills and personalities that make a good salvage diver,” says DeVilbiss. Parker adds: “The American Salvage Association has come out with their best safety practices, as has the American Diving Contractors International. It’s an ongoing process. As we get new technologies and new pieces of equipment, there have to be new ways to make it safe.”

The motto of the salvage industry going forward could be ‘size really does matter’. “We’re going to see possibly 18,000-TEU vessels on the world’s oceans in the next couple of years,” says Keenan. “In 2015, the new locks on the Panama Canal will be completed and ports like Charleston, Jacksonville, Savannah and Norfolk will be increasing their depths. People are talking about raising bridges in order to accept these larger vessels. There will be a problem with one of them and we’re going to have to be able to react to that.”

Remediation is also fast becoming a requirement in salvage operations. “In some contracts, you’ll see not only removal of the wreck but the request to return the seabed to look like it did before the wreck was there,” explains Keenan. “That’s extremely difficult because current shifts and sand movements change because something is in the way, however, that’s another environmental aspect of our business that is going to become more and more important.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Port of Tacoma Container Volumes Leveling Off

Nearly 1.1 million containers crossed Port of Tacoma docks through the first seven months of 2013, marking a 24 percent year-to-date increase, according to newly released data. Tacoma moved 1.07 million containers from January to July, compared with 868,000 during the same period in 2012.

However, despite the gains made, container volume growth appears to be moderating, as July 2013 was the first month in a year where Tacoma didn’t see a double digit jump in traffic compared with the corresponding month during the previous 12-month period.

Tacoma terminals saw a total of 146,017 TEUs in July, virtually identical to the number seen in July 2012. International volumes – imports and exports – had posted double-digit gains through the first six months of the year but grew only three percent last month, according to the port.

Domestic containers – those coming and going from Alaska and Hawaii – decreased from 43,715 in July 2012 to 40,354 last month. For the year, domestic volumes are down about one percent compared to the same seven months in 2012.

Tacoma says last month’s tempered growth was expected, since July marked the first month-over-month comparison that included the Grand Alliance in both the 2013 and 2012 volumes. The Grand Alliance is a consortium of three of the world’s largest shipping lines - Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd, Orient Overseas Container Line of Hong Kong and Japanese company NYK Line - along with associated carrier ZIM Integrated Shipping of Israel.

In July 2012, the Alliance began three new calls each week at Washington United Terminals, having moved their business from the Port of Seattle. Since the shift, Tacoma has seen year-over-year container volume increases while Seattle has experienced the opposite.

Interim Commissioner Named at Port of Everett

At a special meeting on August 19, the Port of Everett Commission appointed District 3 Port Commission candidate Glen Bachman to fill the balance of ex-commissioner Michael Hoffmann’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2013.

Hoffmann resigned Aug. 12 after the Port of Everett Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution asking the civil division of the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s office to verify that Hoffmann met the residency requirements to serve as a port commissioner. He was not seeking re-election.

Bachman is expected to hold the District 3 position on an interim basis until the results of the general election in November 2013 election are certified. He is running uncontested for the six-year term. Commissioner Bachman has more than 30 years of real estate experience. He is currently president of the Asia Pacific division of Path America, an Everett based developer. He also spent 24 years with Kemper Development, as Vice President of Operations & Administration for Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Properties. His responsibilities included lease administration to the two hundred plus tenants at the shopping center as well as Lincoln Square, and several properties on satellite locations.

“I look forward to participating in our community and regard this appointment with pride and enthusiasm," Bachman said in a prepared statement released by the port.

Hoffman’s Aug. 12 resignation came in the wake of his July 2 notification of Executive Director John Mohr that he no longer resided at his District 3 address.

“I have no interest at this time in accommodating residency stipulations,” Hoffmann wrote in his resignation letter.

Washington state law explicitly states that only a registered voter who resides in a commission district may be a candidate for, or hold office as, a commissioner of the port district.

ILWU Pickets Seattle Port Terminal

Members of International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 19 began picketing the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46 on Aug. 20 in protest of the loss of four tunnel work positions associated with a two-mile, four lane tunnel being constructed in Seattle.

About 30 longshore workers showed up for the first day of pickets at Terminal 46 in response to labor issues surrounding work on the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.

The union and project manager Seattle Tunnel Partners signed a contract in April stating that ILWU labor would be used to help load dirt excavated from the tunnel onto barges. But that plan went sideways in July when an arbitrator ruled that the jobs are covered by the tunnel’s broader project labor agreement, meaning that the loading work went to four building-trade workers – two operating engineers and two carpenters – instead.

The replacement tunnel is expected to carry State Route 99 under downtown Seattle from the SoDo neighborhood to South Lake Union in the north. More than 20 projects, including the SR 99 tunnel, are expected to work together to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct while improving freight mobility.

Tunneling beneath Seattle allows crews to replace the viaduct while minimizing highway closures during construction. A new overpass under construction to the west of the stadiums is expected to allow freight and other traffic to bypass a busy railroad track that crosses South Atlantic Street, near the entrance to Terminal 46.

The ILWU says it plans to picket at Terminal 46 until the contractor agrees to re-open negotiations for the jobs.

Truckers Shut Down Oakland Port Terminals

An estimated 100-plus drayage truck drivers staged a several-hour protest at the Port of Oakland on Aug. 19, resulting in terminal closures and backlogs.

The truckers, who are non-unionized, said they staged the one-day action to show their displeasure with their treatment by the port when picking up and dropping off containers.

The drivers managed to shut down five berths during the day and began blocking other terminals before police were able to restore access in the afternoon.

The protest was against the delays the truckers say they sometimes experience during the drop-off and pickup process. Some drivers say they have spent hours in line at times, which winds up costing them money, since they’re paid by the load. The truckers have also said they’re concerned about the costs associated with retrofitting or obtaining new trucks to comply with port emissions requirements.

Long wait times have been at problem at the Port of Oakland for years; several shipping customers also have complained about the backlogs, particularly at the SSA terminal. The port’s executive director, Chris Lytle, eventually met with truckers Aug. 19 to discuss their concerns. The truckers have said that the protests are not planned to be on ongoing occurrence.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

POLB: Diesel Pollution Down 81 Percent
Since 2005

The Port of Long Beach has managed to cut diesel particulates by 81 percent since 2005 due to focused efforts to reduce air pollution caused by goods movement, according to the latest annual analysis by the port.

The annual analysis of air pollution from port sources is conducted to check the port’s progress in improving air quality. It’s a byproduct of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan ― created in 2006 ― which maps out a strategy to reduce or prevent pollution from the ships, trucks, locomotives, tractors and cranes that move cargo.

The results for calendar year 2012, which were released Aug. 19, mark six straight years of improving air quality in the harbor area, according to the study.

Compared to 2005 emissions levels, all key air pollutants from port-related sources were reduced last year, according to the data. In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides have been cut 54 percent and 88 percent respectively.

Greenhouse gases were lowered by 24 percent. The reduction in pollutants far outpaced a 10 percent decline in containerized cargo activity in the same period.

“We’ve been aggressively pursuing cleaner air for a long time and as you can see from these numbers, we are succeeding,” Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Thomas Fields said. “We’ve committed to do even more, to continue to reduce air pollution and its health effects.”

Among the reasons cited by the port for the air quality improvements are bigger ships carrying cargo more efficiently, newer ships with cleaner engines, increasing use of shore power, and a new low-sulfur fuel rule for ships that started in August 2012.

The latest emissions inventory and those for previous years can be seen at

Al Larson Boat Shop: 110 Years and Going Strong

By Mark Edward Nero

If longevity is the strongest measure of success for a business, then Al Larson Boat Shop is easily one of the most successful maritime businesses ever to operate in Southern California. The marine repair facility, located on almost eight acres at the Port of Los Angeles, celebrates its 110th anniversary this year.

Back when Al Larson Boat Shop was founded in 1903, the President of the United States was Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was just coming into existence and the Panama Canal was still over a decade away from being completed.

In fact, the repair business is so long-lived that it actually pre-dates the Port of Los Angeles itself; it wasn’t until December 1907 that Los Angeles city officials created the Board of Harbor Commissioners, which marked the port’s official founding.

It’s so long-lived that it has outlasted the man it was named after by nearly half a century. The original owner, Al Larson, died in December 1963, almost 60 years after opening his boat repair shop.

Larson was born Dec. 9, 1874 in Mariestad, Sweden, the son of a farmer and youngest of nine children. After immigrating to the United States by way of Ellis Island, he moved to San Francisco in 1890 at the age of 16 and served an apprenticeship at the trade of a boat builder. For 12 years he worked the yards of well-known Bay Area boat builder George Kneass. Larson relocated to San Pedro in 1902 and was a foreman in the yards of H.E. Carse for a short time before opening his own boat yard in 1903.

According to historical records, Larson’s first lease was in an area near where the Los Angeles Maritime Museum now sits. The original terms of the lease were $12 a month in rent for three years, with an option to buy the lease for $1,000. After having some success, Larson leased an adjacent piece of land six months later for an additional $5 a month.

Over the following decades, the business moved a few times and bought, sold and leased various parcels of land. But through it all, the business continued to thrive, particularly during the war years, when the shop built about 10 military craft and converted six fishing vessels for coastal patrol duty. It stopped building vessels in the late 1940s, however, to focus on repair work.

A turning point for the company came in 1959, when San Pedro native Andy Wall Sr., a former Los Angeles police officer and Coast Guard aviator, bought the boat shop and kept the name. Wall, who was also a graduate of Southwestern Law School, had worked for his father-in-law, John Rados, at the Harbor Boat Building Co., until Rados sold the company, leaving Wall searching for another job.

He eventually, approached Al Larson’s son Adolf, who had been running the business for his aging father, about buying the shop and the rest is history.

“When my dad bought it in 1959, we had five employees at the time; now we have 80,” said Jack Wall, Andy Wall Sr.’s son and the business’ current president, said.

After taking over the business, Andy Wall Sr. began upgrades of the business that would help it grow into what it is today, including improvement of the hauling systems and the installation and operation of a dry dock in the early-to-mid 1960s. In 1964, the shop received a permit for the operation of an adjacent 140 slip small boat facility, Larson Marina, which still exists to this day. A permit to operate a 200-foot pier adjacent to the dry dock operations followed in 1968.

The boat yard continued its growth throughout the 1970s and early 1980s but suffered a setback when owner Andy Wall died suddenly in 1986. After his death, the business was taken over by his widow, Gloria Wall who, as the daughter of former Harbor Boat Building Co. owner John Rados, had been born into the boatyard industry.

After her retirement in 1996, Jack Wall, who’s now 66, took over as the company’s head, with younger brother George Wall, now 65, taking on the role of vice president. Now, after seeing literally dozens of boat building and repair companies come and go – some of which were much larger and better financed – Al Larson’s is the only shop left.

“We are the last yard in Los Angeles Harbor. There’s no one smaller than us or bigger than us here,” Jack Wall said. “There’s nobody else, we are it. And as such, we are typically busy all the time.”

As currently constituted, the Al Larson property on Terminal Island consists of 2.35 acres of land and 5.35 acres of water, including the adjacent marina, which has 128 rental slips for vessel sizes ranging from 20 feet to 50 feet. George oversees the marina, as well as the boat shop’s facility at the Port of Long Beach, which consists of docks, warehouses and offices, but no ship repair operations.

Regarding the boat shop’s longevity and ability to thrive, Jack Wall partly attributes it to the business’s personnel.

“I think we have better management skills for what we do here than the other yards did,” he said. “We’ve been consistent throughout the history of our company, since my father owned it. We’re just good at what we do. We have good employees; the oldest employee, he’s getting ready to retire; he’s got 37 years here. Most of the other guys have worked here at least 20 years. There’s a handful of people who have come to us in the last five, six years, but generally, 65 to 75 percent of the workforce have been here 25 years.”

And part of the reason why his employees stay is that the company takes care of them.

“They made a lifetime job here and we try to treat them as such. We give them bonuses twice a year, we give them full medical for them and their families, they don’t have to contribute into that,” he said. “And we think we pay them a reasonable wage; there are some parts of the harbor where people can make a lot more, but they’re not working consistently; they work hard for one week, the next week they’re home. Most of my people work full time, (up to) 52 weeks a year.”

One of the many employees who vouch for the owners is yard superintendent Larry Castagnola, who’s worked in the industry since 1976 and has spent 13 of those years with Larson.

“Working for a family (owned) company is real easy; it’s not a high pressure, corporate situation. The owners are real friendly with their customers. It’s more of a handshake type business. I have no intentions of leaving.”

Those words were echoed by quality assurance manager Joe Hutchins, who’s been in the industry about 35 years and previously worked for Todd Pacific Shipyards, Bethlehem Shipyard and Southwest Marine before moving over to Al Larson in 1986.

“It’s smaller and family owned and more personable,” Hutchins said of the company. “I walked in here out of the big yards; walked into this place and just stuck. They gave me an opportunity, so I stayed.”

He also said part of the key to the business’s longevity has been to not overreach. “I think the ability to stay small and not get too large and keep it something they can handle, manageable,” has been important, he said.

In addition to the personnel, another factor in the company’s ability to thrive when other yards have failed is the type of work Larson does and the business it attracts.

“We have a diversified clientele now; if you walk out in the yard, we have a Long Beach Fire boat right, we have a Coast Guard boat in the yard, we have a Crowley tug in the drydock right now; the only thing we don’t have right now is a barge. Generally, we do a lot of barge work, we’re doing a lot of repowering.

“Wilmington Marine closed down here a month or two ago; we’re seeing now the sportfishing industry, we’re seeing a lot of their boats trying to get in here; we’re having to turn away work because our systems are full.”

Jack Wall says that the company completes about 200 jobs annually and in a given month sees a dozen or more boats. For the past 10 years or so, the company has operated with two shifts and is operational from 6:30 am to midnight, something that has been a constant, even in the midst of the most recent economic downturn and recession during 2008 and 2009.

“From a work point of view, we’ve been consistently full, it hasn’t affected us. What we’ve seen is customers deferring certain types of repairs, like cosmetic work,” Jack Wall said. “But they can only defer so long, then they have to bite the bullet.”

The increased business and cramped space led to the company submitting an expansion proposal to the Port of Los Angeles in June 2008, but things have progressed slowly. The proposal would add another tenth of an acre to the existing land for increased vessel maintenance and repair, as well as new wharves and a new travel-lift boat hoist.

An Environmental Impact Report for the proposed multi-phase $15 million project was approved in July 2012, but a major sticking point remains.

“The only thing we’re lacking is a long term lease, which we haven’t had. We’ve been on a 30-day revocable lease for 36 years,” Jack Wall revealed. “We’ve asked the port over and over again throughout the years for a long term lease.”

Castagnola, the yard superintendent, said he believes the port isn’t looking at the big picture and that non-approval of a lease would be a major blow to the boat shop.

“The Harbor Department is basically looking after container revenues and not looking after what really supports the harbor and what makes it a viable port. They’re shortsighted on that,” he said. “If the Harbor Department continues to be unreasonable, I don’t know if the company can fight the uphill battle; hopefully they can.”

When contacted by Pacific Maritime Magazine for this story, the port’s environmental and real estate departments declined to give much insight, citing ongoing lease negotiations with the boat shop. The port’s communications office, however, confirmed that the lease remains month-to-month at this point, but said there are “no further developments or timetable updates at this time” regarding progress on hammering out a new long-term lease.

Jack Wall, however, said the company should know within the next few months whether it will get the long-term lease it seeks. But not having it, he said, would make the expansion project much more difficult to finance.

“It’s hard to borrow money or leverage or any of that stuff without a long term lease,” he said. “I can’t go forward to the banks or anything without that lease.”

The entire experience of dealing with the port has been a frustrating one for Larson management.

“They talk about creating jobs there, but the hurdles, besides the environmental hurdles, are substantial,” Jack Wall said. “Even to clean up a site, just getting through the bureaucracy of the port is so difficult. It’s getting worse and worse every year, and you can quote me on that.”

As the company commemorates its long history, it’s using the present to plan for the near future, a future that depending on certain decisions made, could dictate whether or not the facility has a shot at being around another 110 years.

BNSF Plans $125 Million in Washington Rail Upgrades

BNSF Railway says it plans to invest about $125 million on maintenance and rail capacity improvement and expansion projects in Washington State in 2013, an increase of almost $20 million from what it spent in 2012.

Last year, the railway spent about $106 million on Washington state maintenance and rail capacity projects, including the construction of a new lead to access the Port of Longview, as well as signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control.

The railway’s 2013 Washington capacity enhancement projects include construction of two receiving and departure tracks nearly 7,000 feet long at BNSF’s Delta yard in Everett, expanding its automotive distribution facility at Orillia to support growth in new automobile traffic and signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control (PTC).

“BNSF’s capital investments in Washington will help ensure our network is prepared for growing demand for freight rail,” BNSF Chairman and CEO Matthew K. Rose said. “We are focused on investing to meet our customers’ expectations and on expanding capacity where growth is occurring.”

“Given the importance of a low cost supply chain to the US economy,” Rose said, “our privately funded rail infrastructure is well positioned to help Washington compete in global markets.”

The railway also says it plans to continue a significant track maintenance program in Washington, including almost 2,800 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, the replacement of about 175 miles of rail, and 110,000 railroad ties.

POLA Container Volumes Down Across the Board

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles reached a year-to-date high in July 2013, with overall volumes totaling 715,640 TEUs, according to newly-released data. The numbers, however, weren’t enough to counter a downward statistical trend at America’s busiest seaport.

Last month’s volume number was a 1.48 percent slide compared to the 726,375 TEUs that moved through the port in July 2012.

Imports edged downward by .30 percent, from 371,859 TEU containers in July 2012 to 370,745 TEUs this July. Exports decreased 4.83 percent, from 165,581 TEUs in July 2012 to 157,585 TEUs last month.

Combined, total loaded imports and exports for July decreased 1.69 percent, from 537,440 TEUs last July to 528,331 TEUs in July 2013. Factoring in empties, which dropped .86 percent year over year, overall July 2013 volumes (715,640 TEUs) dropped 1.48 percent compared to July 2012 (715,640 TEUs).

Through the first seven months of the calendar year, Los Angeles recorded 4.42 million TEUs, a 6.5 percent decline from the 4.73 million units moved during the same timeframe in 2012.

The declines are due in part to French shipping line CMA CGM Group moving a weekly ship call from Los Angeles to the neighboring Port of Long Beach last year. Mediterranean Shipping Co. also jumped from the Port of Los Angeles to the POLB in the second half of 2012.

Current and past data container counts for the Port of LA can be found at:

Long Beach Cargo Volume Rises in July

Cargo activity at the Port of Long Beach showed steady growth in imports and exports last month, as containerized cargo volume climbed 7.6 percent in July compared to the same month one year ago, with both imports and exports showing solid increases.

A total of 562,166 TEUs moved through Long Beach terminals in July, according to port data. Imports increased 12.9 percent to 294,926 TEUs. Exports were up 6.2 percent to 132,290 TEUs.

The one negative the port experienced was in empty containers moved: Long Beach’s volume was down 1.3 percent to 134,950 TEUs in July compared to 136,679 containers the same month last year.

For the first seven months of calendar year 2013, 13.2 percent more cargo moved through Long Beach compared to the same period in 2012, including 15.7 percent more imports, 9.5 percent more exports and 12 percent more empties, according to port data.

Long Beach attributes the increases are in part to the larger ships calling at the port more frequently and the addition of service lines starting in the last half of 2012.

The latest monthly cargo numbers for the Port of Long Beach can be seen at, and more details on the cargo numbers are available at