A record number of cargos are being reported at US ports which has brought a lot of hope to traders but at the same time the labor woes in the West Coast is an issue that’s bugging many in the industry. Many organizations like the Georgia Port Authority (GPA) attribute their great fiscal year to this labor issue on the West Coast. GPA reported an increase of 8% in its annual report. The 8% increase in cargo tonnage which amounts roughly to 31.69 million tons is really astonishing. There was a record 17% increase in container cargos which exceeded 3 million of container units. This is a first in the history of the port’s performance and a definite boost in revenue.
There was also an increase of about 7.6% in bulk cargo which was a plus point this fiscal year. A record amount of 714,021 units in machinery and autos was also seen this year. But there are some in the industry who believe that there is more than just this reason to the boom. The improvement in the US economy according to port officials has benefited from the West Coast matter but also due to other factors. The Port of Houston Authority has predicted a record level of cargo this year and according to the executive director of the port, almost 20 million tons of cargo has moved through as of June for this particular year. The container volume went up as high as 30% compared to last year as the fleets were diverted to Texas which was also beneficial other than the West Coast matter. The container growth has subsided according to the officials but nevertheless there is a certain positive change benefitting the industry.
Officials exclaimed that the economy is extremely international in nature and interconnected. The officials also believe that a huge chunk of cargo that passes through the port is related to the local industries like plastic resin and oil and gas chemicals. A lot of traffic can also be accredited to retail goods as well as raw materials. Developments like the opening of the Panama Canal in 2016 are only going to add to the steady growth of the industry. The opening of the Panama Canal favors the significant shift to the Gulf Coast ports. According to CH Robinson, up to 10% cargo that moves from Asia to the US can shift from the West Coast to the East Coast. The Port of Houston Authority is investing about $68 million to extend its waters as well as additional $50 million on four cranes to prepare for the shift.
Source From: http://globalsupplychaininsights.com/2015/08/03/record-breaking-fiscal-years-for-east-and-gulf-coast-ports/