Port Briefs NATIONAL SCENE
Who's on first?
Which U.S. port handled the most tonnage in 1990? Well, if you said New Orleans, Los Angeles, or New York/New Jersey, you're wrong. According to preliminary data recently released by the Port of South Louisiana, the port handled 189.1 million tons in 1990, tops in the country. The 1990 total port-wide cargo rose a healthy 7.7 percent over 1989 tonnage.
In fact, the Port of South Louisiana is part of Louisiana's vast Mississippi River Port Complex, which accounted for a total tonnage of 366.9 million tons in 1988, far outstripping the Port of Rotterdam, generally considered the world's largest port, which handled 255 million tons in 1988. (See exhibit, "Top 25 Of World's Leading Ports," for details.) The Mississippi River Complex is composed of five individual port authorities with jurisdiction over specific sections of the river, from the mouth of the Mississippi to 253 miles inland. The complex consists of the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Port of South Louisiana, Port of New Orleans, the St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District and the Plaquemines Port, Harbor and Terminal District.
Port Improvements The Port of Savannah (Georgia), the 12th largest container port in the U.S., recently completed a new bridge spanning the Savannah River at the entrance to the harbor. The 185 feet of vertical clearance afforded by the new bridge ensures that new generation container ships, as well as other vessels will be able to call at the port.
Another improvement underway at the port is the widening of the harbor by 400 to 500 feet to allow for more navigation area of vessels. A major topic on the port's agenda is channel deepening. Channel deepening is particularly important in light of projections which indicate that 30 percent of the world's container fleet will be unable to navigate channels shallower than 40 feet by the year 2000. Present channel depth at the port is 38 feet. Container Volume Up At the Port of Oakland, 1990 brought a jump in container volume, driven by strong U.S. exports, new stacktrain routings and the return to service of terminals knocked out by the Loma Prieta earthquake.
The port handled an equivalent of 817,480 loaded TEUs for the year, representing a jump of 6.7 percent over 1989. Total container tonnage was 13,553,220 revenue tons.
The main exports moving through the port included fresh and pro- cessed produce, paper, cotton, resins, meats and metals. Imports were led by iron and steel, beverages, road vehicles and computer hardware. A growing share of Oakland's international lifts moved on stacktrains to and from inland points via the three railroad lines serving the port—Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific.
Most Vessel Calls At L.A./Long Beach The Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey recently released statistics detailing the number of vessels calling at 11 major ports in the contiguous U.S. during 1990.
According to the data, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach topped the list, as they did in 1989, with 6,934 vessel arrivals, representing 16.9 percent of the total of 41,022 calls for the 11 ports. New Orleans/Lower Mississippi River (between Baton Rouge and Pilottown) was second with 6,150 vessel calls. New York/New Jersey and Connecticut was third with a total of 5,188 calls, which was a decrease of 180 vessels from 1989. Details on vessel calls for the period 1988-1990 are shown in the exhibit, "Vessel Calls At 10 Major Ports in Contiguous U.S." The Maritime Association of the Port of N.Y./N.J. attributed a large percentage of this decrease to a drop in tanker traffic to the area. According to the data released, 1,750 tankers called at the port area in 1990 as compared with 1,880. Major oil spills in the harbor and the closure of Exxon terminals for up to three months caused tanker traffic to be diverted to other ports.
Tacoma On Top According to U.S. Commerce Department statistics covering up to the end of the third quarter of 1990, the Port of Tacoma has emerged as the leading domestic port for the shipment of wood products. The 1990 figures show the port handled 3.6 million tons of wood products, including lumber, wood chips, pulp and paper.
The Port of Beaumont in Texas handled a record amount of forest products in 1990, showing a tonnage increase of 50 percent over 1989 figures. In 1990, the port moved 328,568 tons of forest products, including plywood, logs, wood chips, lumber, linerboard and woodpulp. In 1989, the port handled 218,499 tons of forest products.
The Port of San Francisco was recently named an official coffee exchange port by the Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange, joining New York and New Orleans. San Francisco will be able to receive futures coffee and store it until a buyer is found. Futures market buyers will now have a West Coast alternative to New York and New Orleans in coffee purchases. Coffee, the second largest commodity handled by the port, accounts for about $170 million in port revenue. About 50 percent of the West Coast's coffee business is handled by the port.
New Executive Director At Pascagoula The Port of Pascagoula recently announced the appointment of Fred S. Sherman as the executive director of the Jackson County Port Authority/ Port of Pascagoula. Mr.
Sherman succeeds Capt. Paul Smith, who left the position to become the executive director of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association Mr. Sherman has over 35 years' professional experience in the management of marine transportation and terminal companies and has been active in the international, coastwise, inland, intracoastal, and Great Lakes vessel, barge and terminal businesses.
LA. Leads Nation's Ports In Containers The Port of Los Angeles, also referred to as Worldport LA, was the nation's leading container port last year, according to statistics released by the port. According to released data, the port handled 2,116,404 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in 1990 for the calendar year, surpassing the two million TEU mark for the second consecutive year.
The port's director of marketing, Albert Fierstine, attributed Los Angeles's continued rise in containerized cargo traffic to an increase in the U.S. export market, additional vessel calls and major new accounts. The 1990 total surpassed the previous port record of 2,056,980 TEUs, set in 1989, by 2.9 percent. Containers-On-Barge Service Proves Success On Columbia/Snake Rivers Containers-on-barge, established some 17 years ago, has proved to be a great success, according to a Maritime Administration official.
According to remarks by John M. Pisani, Director of the Office of Port and Intermodal Development, Maritime Administration, at a recent seminar in Indiana, the success of the service can be attributed to the cooperation of various groups and their commitment to the intermodal service, an attractive commodity mix in the system, and favorable geography.
The system moved 36,000 TEUs during 1990. Scheduled service is provided to six inland river ports by two barge operators with the Port of Portland (Oregon) serving as the major steamship hub.