US West Coast Ready for Panama Expansion


US West Coast (USWC) ports are set to hold on to their market share in 2016, despite the completion of the Panama Canal in H2, with ports anticipated to see no significant negative effect of more ships calling on the East Coast due to the ultra-large vessels that will be arriving at the USWC this year, according to the Journal of Commerce.

Noel Hacegaba, CCO at the Port of Long Beach, said: “Having the vessel call here [referring to the recent CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin] is a great opportunity, but we do not anticipate frequent calls by 18,000-TEU ships this year. For us, status quo in 2016 is good.”

Ports America recently ended its 50-year association with the Port of Oakland in a bid to focus expansion and investment plans on a number of USWC ports, including Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Historically, ports along the USWC have only been able to handle ships of around 13,000-14,000 TEU, which is sparking debate as to how these ports can or will accommodate the new era of mega-ships with full capacities.

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