Empties rise 8.2%

Terminal operators at the Port of Long Beach reported that they moved 600,940 container cargo units in October, up 7.8% over the same month a year ago.

The last of the holiday imports climbed 3.7% to the equivalent of 299,203 teus. October is generally the final month of the three-month-long peak shipping season, when most imports come in for the end-of-the-year holidays. Leading imports include consumer electronics, home furnishings, toys, clothing and shoes.

Exports jumped 20.5% to 103,422 teus. With strong demand in Asia for US raw materials, exports have increased 20% or more for seven straight months, compared with the same month a year ago.

Despite the export gains, there remains a wide trade imbalance. The number of empty containers, nearly all headed overseas to be re-filled with products, rose 8.2% to 198,315 teus.

ATMIS will keep cargo moving smoothly

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are working with the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority to develop an intelligent transportation system to manage traffic and security in the harbor area.

The Advanced Transportation Management and Information System (ATMIS) will use closed-circuit TV cameras, changeable message signs and other components to keep cargo moving smoothly and securely in and around the harbor area.

Seimens Energy and Automation is developing the system, which should be operation in 2007.

Pier T welcomes Sinotrans container ships

Port officials welcomed two Sinotrans container ships in November during their first voyages to the Total Terminals International facility on Pier T.

The 2,700-teu Sinotrans Shanghai called at the TTI terminal on November 23. The 2,700-teu Sinotrans Tianjin made its first call November 29.

Both vessels are part of Sinotrans’ weekly China America Service, which calls at Ningbo and Shanghai in China; then Pusan, South Korea; Long Beach and back across the Pacific.

New cranes delivered to LBCT

Long Beach Container Terminal has taken delivery on two post-panamax gantry cranes that are among the largest in the world.

The state-of-the-art, ship-to-shore cranes can reach across 23 container boxes ’ big enough for a yet-to-be-built generation of vessels. The largest container ships today are only 17 containers wide.

LBCT’s new cranes, built in Shanghai by the Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. (ZPMC), have a lift capacity of 65 tons with twin 20-foot lift capability. The newest cranes, which will be operational in January, give LBCT a total of seven gantry cranes.

In January, LBCT is scheduled to take delivery on six additional ZPMC rubber-tired gantry cranes that also have twin 20-foot capability. The new RTGs will come with new air emission reduction technology that will be the first of its kind at the local ports.