Drewry’s Container Insight Weekly had this detailed piece on West Coast usage by large ships. The major takeaway: bigger ships are calling but it may be too soon for many of the ULCC (18000 teu or so) to call yet, due to port related delays. There’s also a sort of bedlam caused by the reshuffling alliances; the firms in each alliance have different preferences as to which terminal to use at the ports. Hence there’s no stability in where a ship might call on each visit. To fix this will require compromise on ocean carrier objectives, like “always use our affiliated terminal when you come to LA”. Stability would make it simpler for the terminals to plan how to unload or load and get the customers’ cargoes on the way to their destinations. That part is challenging enough for the ports terminal operators today. Everyone has to work together to improve the customer (cargo owner) journey (literal and figurative!!!).
The number of containerships of 13,000 teu or above deployed on the Asia-US West Coast trade has nearly doubled since the start of 2017. How long before the mega-ships arrive?
Source: Drewry – Weekly Feature Articles – West Coast upgrade