Neil Davidson, ports analyst at London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants, says it is unclear how far union action is to blame for the disruption. But he says: "There are certainly some deeper issues that have to be addressed even after the contract is agreed." P a g e
8 1 One relates to a decision by terminal operators this year to stop providing truckers with the chassis on which they haul containers to and from ports. The lack of alternative sources created a shortage. That problem was exacerbated when terminals started to fill up and operators began to refuse to accept deliveries of empty containers, which then sat outside on some of the few available chassis. Noel Hacegaba, chief commercial officer for the Port of Long Beach, says the port tried to ease the problem by buying 3,000 new chassis for truckers to use. It also set up a storage site for empty containers. OGetty For Union Pacific, one of the biggest challenges has been multiple shipping lines' cargo on each vessel, says Mr Simon, meaning goods need far more sorting before they can be loaded on to trains. Union Pacific is working with shipping lines to ensure clumps of containers heading to the same destinations are grouped together to minimise sorting. Mr Davidson says the most basic problems are longstanding. US container terminals are the least productive in the developed world, largely because operators, worrying about labour unrest, have been reluctant to invest in modern equipment. The challenges on the US west coast are particularly acute because port authorities traditionally created multiple terminals in each facility for individual shipping lines. Those small facilities have been easily overwhelmed by deliveries from big new ships. "There are some fundamental issues underneath it all," Mr Davidson says. "There's all this latent capacity that doesn't get used." Port operators insist they intend to address some of these longer term issues once the immediate crisis is over. Mr Hacegaba says emergency measures, plus the diversion of some ships away from the most congested ports, and seasonal declines in cargo volumes, had helped to ease the challenges. "We see signs of improvement," he adds. But Jonathan Gold, head of supply chain for the US National Retail Federation, says many problems will remain until labour leaders and employers settle their dispute. P a g e
9 1 P a g e
COSCO has many ship-building and ship-repairing bases in China, which own a total of 16 docks including 300,000-ton-class docks and 500,000-ton-class docks, with businesses include large-sized ship and ocean engineering construction, refitting and reparation. These bases boast leading production equipment assembling ability and production management level, and takes a lead in the world in terms of indicators such as technical ability, production efficiency and production costs. These bases annually repair and refit over 500 large-sized vessels and build up 8.4 million tons, making it the largest shiprepairing enterprise and most-advanced ship-building enterprise.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 16 pages?
- Fall '13
- Containerization, COSCO, shipping company COSCO, COSCO Holdings, cosco group, China Ocean Shipping Co.