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Panama Canal: Diverting Containers Eastward

Panama Canal: Diverting Containers Eastward

The US West Coast (USWC) appears to be on the road to recovery, despite the severe setbacks in early 2015, which saw ports along the USWC closing operations due to congestion caused by labour disputes.

According to the latest statistics released by Datamyne, the Port of Los Angeles, the US’s largest port, saw a total import volume increase of more than 160,000 TEU for the months of January-May, 2016 compared to the same five months in 2015.

The import surge at the Port of Los Angeles was seen mainly in the months of January and February, which increased from 2015 by 42% and 48%, respectively.

The Port of Long Beach has also recently seen volumes increase in May, 2016.

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Despite a positive result, there is one dynamic that could affect the growth of many USWC ports, which is the Panama Canal.

With the recent inauguration of the Panama Canal, USWC ports could lose significant amounts of traffic to the US East Coast (USEC).

Travelling to the USEC via the Panama Canal would cut transit times by five days for shipping lines, compared to relying on rail for shifting freight to the USEC from the USWC.

 


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