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In 2002, 17,000 loaded containers entered the US every day. The average shipping rate for a 40 foot container moving from Asia to the West Coast has fluctuated over the years from $1,800 in 1995, to $1,400 in 1997, to $2,000 in 2000 to $1,500 in 2002, to around $1,900 in 2008. It is interesting that the rate for moving a container back to Asia over the same period ranged from $1400 in 1995, declined to $900 in 2000, remained fairly steady until 2007, then rose to around $1200 in 2008. Interestingly the cost of moving a loaded container back to Asia has fallen from $1,400 in 1995 to $800 in 2007. One 5,000 TEU vessel call on the West Coast will generate seven double stack trains. The average cost to move a 40 foot container by rail from Los Angeles to Chicago was around $1,600 in 2007. By comparison, the BNSF rate for a loaded covered hopper of grain from Williston, ND to Vancouver, WA is around $3,000. BNSF has about 60% of the container business in and out of West Coast ports (about 100 trains per day across the whole system in 2007) while UP handles the other 40%.
Top 10 North American Container Ports [TEUs '000]
|Long Beach, CA||2,538||2,844||3,067||3,505||4,098||12.7%|
|Los Angeles, CA||2,519||2,555||2,683||2,960||3,378||7.6%|
|Port of New York and New Jersey||2,034||2,263||2,270||2,457||2,466||4.9%|
|San Juan, PR||1,534||1,539||1,641||1,833||1,990||6.7%|
|Hampton Roads, VA||894||1,078||1,141||1,233||1,252||8.8%|
Repositioning containers on ship in 2003
cell to cell counts as one lift
cell to dock to cell counts as two lifts
For all the international containers, about 20% are 20ft containers and 80% are 40ft containers.
USDA estimates that more than 600,000 TEU of agricultural products were exported through the California ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland in 2003. Thirty-seven percent of those containers were refrigerated containers. Two-thirds of California almonds are exported; about 80 percent of the cotton grown in Central California is exported and 40 percent of the navel oranges are exported.
Toyota Motor Company. Toyota operates some 35 different plants in 25 countries around the world. Each of these plants is connected to multiple supply chains for various individual parts and subassemblies. One such chain involves engines made in Nagoya, Japan shipped to Georgetown, Kentucky for ultimate installation into cars being built on the assembly line. Upon arrival in a Southern California port, the containers are discharged from the ship and then loaded aboard an eastbound double-stack train for overland transport to Chicago. At the terminus of the rail move, the containers are pulled from the train and placed on a truck chassis for the final leg of the journey. After 17 days in transit, the engines arrive at the plant in Georgetown within prescheduled 15-minute delivery windows, at which time they are moved from their containers directly to the assembly line for installation.
Freight vessel calls
2004 1,094 (868 container ships)
2005 1,345 (898 container ships)
2007 1,042 (666 container ships)
2010 1,244 (787 container ships)
Grain tonnage handled at Seattle
1.5 million 1990
1.7 million 1992
Tons of containers (in TEU) handled at Seattle
|tonnage||lds in*||lds out||empties|
*lds in is imported containers, empties are export. Typical container dwell time at Seattle is 6-8 days.
For its part, APL has worked with a variety of government entities both in the U.S. and abroad to further its terminal needs. For example, APL joined in partnership with the Port of Seattle to develop Global Gateway North, a new state-of-the-art container handling terminal, from a contaminated Superfund cleanup site. The $270m terminal features on-dock rail service and an APL computer system that can track, record and locate all containers in the 160-acre yard at any time. Global Gateway North will be part of a two-hub load center concept employed by APL on the West Coast. The centers are needed to handle the carrier's increasingly larger freight volumes from its growing pan-Pacific trade and space sharing alliances with other carriers. The southern hub, dubbed Global Gateway South, is located on 232 acres at Terminal Island in the Port of Los Angeles. Global Gateway South includes on-dock rail service, high volume cargo handling equipment and integrated management systems. Under lease to APL for 30 years, the facility officially was dedicated in May 1997. Global Gateway South is the container facility at Pier 300 on Terminal Island. Operated by Eagle Marine Services Ltd. for APL Limited.
During a typical week in 2004 Seattle had ships with Hanjin at T46, MOL at T5, Hapag Lloyd at T18, OOCL at T18, and NYK Line at T18.
Seattle Terminal (T-46) established in 1986 has been well known as one of the fastest and most convenient intermodal gateways for Hanjin Shipping. Hanjin moved about 111,000 units per year in 1997; 70%-80% of which are intermodal and occur over a two day peak period near the end of the week.
Most of the product exported through Louis Dreyfus Corp grain elevators at Terminal 86 is soybeans or corn from the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Nebraska. A small amount of Washington and Oregon wheat also moves through the facility. Taiwan, China and Japan are the top destinations for product exported through Terminal 86.
5,512,000 tons of grain exported in 2009
5,491,000 tons of grain exported in 2009
The port of Seattle added an imported car staging area next to Terminal 86 in the mid-70s for processing Nissans, Datsuns and Volkswagens. 69,000 import cars in 1990
39,000 import cars in 1992
45,000 import cars in 1994
42,606 import cars in 1996
49,499 import cars in 1998
51,813 import cars in 1999
30,534 import cars in 2000
Husky Terminal 4 serves the "K" Line, Hanjin, Yang Min, and COSCO
Olympic Container Terminal serves Yang Ming, COSCO, Hanjin, and the "K" Line
Pierce County Terminal is dedicated to Evergreen Shipping
Washington United Terminals serve Hyundai, MOL, and APL
Tacoma port stats:
1997 TEUs 551,164
1999 TEUs 571,558
2000 TEUs 651,142
2001 TEUs 609,175
2002 TEUs 1,470,834 11% increase from 2001
2002 loaded import TEUs 491,000
2002 loaded export TEUs 278,000
2003 TEU 1,738,068 up 18% from 2002
2003 loaded import TEUs 594,000
2003 loaded export TEUs 337,000
October 2003 peak at 36,500 TEUs per week
2004 loaded import TEUs 596,582
2004 loaded export TEUs 345,109
2005 loaded import TEUs 745,323
2005 loaded export TEUs 365,752
2007 TEUs 1,151,000 (1,289,000 loads) (621 container vessels)
2008 loaded import TEUs 648,947
2008 loaded export TEUs 483,665
2008 empty TEUs 215,363
2009 loaded import TEUs 472,533
2009 loaded export TEUs 420,791
2009 empty TEUs 182,322
2010 loaded import TEUs 476,746
2010 loaded export TEUs 337,538
2010 empty TEUs 162,421
70 to 75 percent of all import containerized cargo coming through the Puget Sound is destined for Midwest and East Coast markets by rail.
The Tacoma Municipal Belt is a switching/terminal railroad serving industries and port facilities in the Tacoma area. The TMBL, which began operation in 1914, is owned and operated by the city of Tacoma. It operates 11 miles of railroad.
Evergreen Line became a customer of Tacoma in 1991. The Taiwan-based container carrier calls at the Port's 75-acre Terminal 4 facility on the Blair Waterway. The facility is operated by Marine Terminals Corporation (MTC). Evergreen's two weekly vessel calls connect the Port to locations throughout Asia around the world via transloading and feeder services. Evergreen operates one of the largest container fleets in the world, numbering 134 ships, including vessels in service and on order.
Tacoma's newest container shipping customer, Hyundai began operating at the Port of Tacoma in 1999. Hyundai's three weekly vessel calls are handled at Washington United terminals, a 60-acre facility on the Blair Waterway.
Japan-based Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., better known as "K" Line, began calling at the Port of Tacoma in 1988. The Japan-based line calls at Pier 7, Berth D, with a container ship once a week. "K" Line's 33-acre terminal in Tacoma is operated by Husky Terminal and Stevedoring Company.
Maersk and Sea-Land came to the Port of Tacoma as two separate companies in 1985. The two shipping lines merged in 1999 to become Maersk Sealand. Maersk Pacific Ltd. leases and operates a 132-acre container terminal on the Port's Sitcum Waterway.
Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) in Tacoma began processing imported automobiles in 1995. The 146-acre Marshall Avenue auto terminal handles imports for Hyundia, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Fuso, and General Motors. Tacoma also set an automotive import/export record at 180,173 vehicles in 2002. In 2003 it handled 158,347 vehicles - down 12% from 2002 and 187,580 imported cars in 2010 It looks like Tacoma is the only port of entry into the US for Kia. On Aug. 12, 2011 the one millionth Kia rolled through the AWC facility.
Grain, mostly corn and soybeans from the Cargill Tacoma Export Marketing Company (TEMCO)
4,224,048 tons in 2000
4,099,912 tons in 2001
3,461,530 tons in 2002
4,537,522 tons in 2003
6,688,026 tons in 2004
6,968,666 tons in 2005
6.2 million tons in 2008
6.2 million tons in 2010
The Port of Tacoma's emphasis on service has paid off with four cargo companies moving from Seattle over the years. Tacoma claims to handle more cargo per acre of land - typically 5,000 containers a year, and as many as 8,500 in some terminals - than Seattle, which says it handles 3,500 to 4,000 containers per acre.
Tacoma's latest expansion began in 2001. Evergreen Marine, which decamped from the Port of Seattle in 1991, was celebrating 10 years in Tacoma. In January 2005, Evergreen left Husky Terminal, allowing K Line to move from Terminal 7 into that larger, renovated space. Then K Line's piers were expanded for Yang Ming Lines, which begin serving the port in October 2005. The expansion was larger and less costly than Seattle's, which also has been building cargo facilities. Tacoma developed 210 acres for containers, compared with 101 acres Seattle has added since 1998.
Tacoma earns money by operating its own rail yards. It also requires terminal operators to pay more if they handle more cargo. Seattle doesn't operate its facilities, and its tenants don't pay extra for moving more freight. Over the last six years, Tacoma made a cumulative operating profit of $86 million, after deducting depreciation of its facilities. By contrast, Seattle's seaport lost $40.8 million over the same period, and made a profit in only one of the last six years.
Kalama founded in the late 1840s is home to the first fish hatchery in the state of Washington.
Portland port stats:
In 1891, the Oregon legislature created the Port of Portland to dredge a shipping channel from Portland to the sea. The Port now owns five marine terminals, four airports, seven business parks and the Portland Ship Yard.
T-1: 25 acres; distribution, warehousing, industrial operations
T-2: 49 acres; break bulk, roll-on/roll-off cargoes, containers
T-4: 280 acres; grain, mineral bulks, autos, project cargoes, liquid bulks
T-5: 181 acres; grain, mineral bulks
T-6: 488 acres; containers, autos, intermodal rail yard operations
1997 cargo volumes
294,930 TEU (20ft equivalent unit) containers
3.6 million tons of grain
3.2 million tons of bulk minerals
Leading exports are wheat, barley, and soda ash
Portland, Vancouver, and Kalama terminals export more wheat than any other port in U.S.
2nd largest export tonnage port on West Coast
2nd largest volume auto handling port on West Coast; 5th largest in U.S.
15th largest volume container port in U.S.
Portland, OR stats
break bulk tonnage (steel lumber machinery)
1994 666,098 tons
1994 221,142 TEUs
1994 103,335 TEUs
1994 5,250,964 tons
2004 358,682 (187,000 Toyota, 100,000 Honda, 72,000 Hyundai)
80% of these cars are moved out by rail. Honda and Toyota have major import facilities in Portland.
1994 2,131,859 tons
Portland, OR: Among the major types of cargo exported by container are paper, hay, lumber, and frozen french fries. Containerized imports include footwear, computer components, tires, and apparel. Wheat is the major type of grain exported from Portland. Barley is also exported regularly from Portland, but in much smaller volumes. Other types of grains exported from Portland on a sporadic basis include soybeans, sorghum, and corn. About 40 percent of the grain is delivered to Portland by barge. Most of the remaining 60 percent arrives by rail.
Terminal 1 is located within close proximity to Portland's city center on the Willamette River, Terminal 1 is the Port's smallest and oldest marine facility. It serves as a regional distribution center for barge and truck transportation. Half of the 38-acre terminal is being considered as a part of an innovative urban business and residential project called the River District.
Terminal 2 is a 55-acre facility that handles virtually all types of cargo from lumber and forest products to steel, machinery and packaged goods. With direct vessel-to-rail cargo movements, Terminal 2 is considered one of the most modern and efficient multipurpose marine facilities on the U.S. West Coast.
Terminal 4 is multipurpose. This 280 acre facility features seven ship berths capable of handling a variety of cargos. These include grain, autos, forest products, steel, and dry and liquid bulks. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. automobile handling facility. Cargill, Inc. grain elevator. Terminal 4 bulk export facility handles soda ash, which is used to make glass. The soda ash is mined in Wyoming and delivered to Portland by rail.
Terminal 5 is located on the north edge of the Port's Rivergate Industrial District. Terminal 5 and its 185 acres feature a rapid handling grain elevator operated by Columbia Grain, Inc. In the fall of 1997, a $48 million mineral bulk exporting facility began handling potash and other bulk commodities. Potash is mined in Saskatchewan, Canada, and is railed to Terminal 5 in dedicated trains.
Terminal 6 (Rivergate Industrial Park) is the region's primary container and auto handling terminal. Built in 1974 on 488 acres along the Columbia River, the Port expanded Terminal 6 to provide additional gate capacity, updated computer systems, increased container yard capacity and additional cranes. The expansion also included a 50 percent increase in its on-dock intermodal yard capacity. Hyundai Motor America and Honda Motor Co automobile handling facility.
The Port of Portland's Marine Division in May 2003 set two new records: one for the number of shipping containers moved on and off ocean going vessels, and another for the number of containers handled at the Port's Terminal 6 on-dock intermodal rail yard. The Port handled 37,563 containers in May at its Terminal 6 marine complex, Oregon's only deep draft ocean container facility. The previous record was in October 1994 when 35,472 TEUs were loaded to and discharged from visiting ships. Of the May 2003 container record, 27,422 TEUs were loaded onto ships for export while 10,141 were imports. Terminal 6 intermodal rail yard saw 9,543 containers arrive and depart by specialized double stack trains. The majority of containers arriving at Terminal 6 on these trains are coming in empty from the interior of the country for repositioning to ports in Asia.
Hyundai Merchant Marine and the "K" Line ended service to the Port of Portland
near the end of 2004. This left only Hanjin Shipping to handle oceangoing container traffic in and out of Portland. Evergreen America line pulled out of Portland in 2001, saying it would consolidate at the rapidly growing Port of Tacoma. Hanjin Shipping pulled its service in 2001, then returned a year later.
Hyundai, which began serving Portland in 1984, suspended service in 1985 and didn't return until 1994. Container traffic has continued to slide downward at Portland. It handled 245,459 teus in 2008 and 174,203 teus in 2009 and its ranking among other US contain ports has fallen to 33rd.
Rail Shipments Terminating in California
Rail Shipments Originating in California
Port of Oakland, CA stats:
|lds in||lds out||empties||total TEU||trend|
Fruits, nuts and vegetables, waste paper, red meat and poultry, resins, chemicals, animal feed, raw cotton, wood and lumber, crude fertilizers/minerals, industrial machinery, cereal/cereal preparations.
Auto parts, computer equipment, wearing apparel, toys/games and articles of plastic, processed fruits/vegetables, fasteners, household metal products, red meat, pottery/glassware/ceramics, iron and steel, beverages, lumber products.
The container era began in Oakland in 1962, when the S.S. Elizabethport, then the world's largest freighter, arrived at the Port's Outer Harbor Terminal to inaugurate containership operations by Sea-Land Service, Inc.
Sea-Land modified four ships and invested in a fleet of 5,000 trailers that "detach from their chassis to become giant shipping boxes."
In December 1998 the Port of Oakland purchased 125 acres of land once belonging to Union Pacific Railroad. This property plus 400 acres from the Navy Supply Center was used for the Port's Vision 2000 Program, which included developing new marine terminals, new roadways, a Joint Intermodal Terminal rail facility and a 33 acre shoreline park.
The Port of Oakland is fourth largest container port in the U.S. and amongst the top 30 in the world. Located at the center of the Pacific Coast and in the heart of San Francisco Bay, the Port incorporates 19 miles of shoreline with 10 modern container terminals and 1 break bulk facility. The Port offers a wide range of maritime support services and is connected to the transcontinental railway system.
Maersk Sealand Terminal uses berths 20-26
Hanjin Terminal uses berths 55 & 56. Opened in June 2001, Hanjin Shipping's Oakland Terminal (120 acres) improves the efficiency and capacity of the new century's latest fleets with four of the largest gantry cranes in the world.
APL Terminal uses berths 60-63
UP Lathrop facility averages 200-250 container crane transfers per day.
BNSF Stockton facility completed in 2001, averages more than 400 container lifts daily.
Hobart Yard in LA handled more than one million containers and trailers in 2000. It makes over 90,000 lifts per month.
The yard at Barstow sees from 90 to 100 trains per day. This includes about 22 trains that terminate and 22 originating trains.
Typically the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach receive about eight container ships a day. The two ports generate about 20,000 truck trips and 30 train movements per day. The port complex of LA/Long Beach accounted for over 36 percent of all containerized U.S. imports and exports in 2004.
In 1995 California ports handled over 130 million tons of dry cargo, and additional tonnage in liquid cargo (especially petroleum products).
1995 DRY TONNAGE
Long Beach 55,149,396
Los Angeles 47,417,926
San Diego 1,495,349
In 2000, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles generated about 34,000 truck trips per day. The truck moved freight to the local distribution centers and intermodal facilities as well as to the distribution centers in the area east of L.A. County in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. However the international freight is only one quarter of all of the freight moving through Los Angeles County.
The Alameda Corridor handled an average 4,117 containers per day in 2002 and 5,514 containers per day in 2004. In 2008, the corridor hosted its 100,000th train. In 2010, the corridor saw an average of 37 trains a day moving 10,294 teu of containers.
Port of Long Beach stats:
|In loaded||Out lds||Total lds||Empties||Total TEU|
In 2003, containers arriving at Long Beach from ships
- 16% went to an on-dock rail facility for shipment east
- 13% went to the ICTF for shipment east
- 13% went to a rail yard near downtown LA for shipment east
- 22% went to a transload center for repacking into domestic 53ft containers or trailers then to a rail yard for shipment east. This reduces the back haul of empty marine containers.
- 36% go by truck to local and distant markets
1971 The port completes a 55 acre combination container and automobile terminal on Pier J. The facility processes Toyota's distribution throughout Southern California and the Western U.S.
1972 opened 52 acre container terminal on Pier J. The new terminal features a 1,200-foot wharf, 42 foot water depth and two high speed Paceco gantry cranes. ITS customers include "K" Line and Zim Container Service.
1973 Sea-Land Service moves into an 80-acre container terminal and a 15-acre rail and truck facility on Pier G.
1974 Pacific Container Terminal opens a 34.5-acre facility on Pier J.
1978 Maersk Line Pacific, Ltd. opens a 29-acre container terminal on Pier G.
1981 China Ocean Shipping Co. (COSCO) inaugurates international shipping, and it makes Long Beach's Pacific Container Terminal its first U.S. port of call.
1986 Long Beach Container Terminal opens an 88-acre facility on Pier F and Maersk opens an expanded 54-acre container terminal on Pier J.
1987 Southern Pacific Railroad opens the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) four miles from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. 16 lane truck gate handling up to 230 containers per hour The ICTF handled more than seven million containers from 1986 through 1999. Its capacity is about 600,000 containers per year or 16 trains per day in 2004. In 2001, the ICTF handled an average of 100 lifts per man hour, a high productivity figure that enabled the near-dock complex to accommodate 70 eastbound and 70 westbound trains every week.
1988 construction begins on a 147-acre landfill expansion of Pier J.
1991 Hanjin Shipping Co. of South Korea opens a 57 acre container terminal on the site of the former Procter and Gamble plant on Pier C.
1993 Maersk Line opens a 107 acre container terminal on the 147 acre Pier J expansion.
1997 the port opens a 170 acre, $277 million container terminal for Hanjin. The terminal is Long Beach's largest, and it is the largest terminal operated anywhere in the world by Hanjin. It handled more than one million TEUs in 2001.
In September 2002, Hanjin relocated from Pier A to the single largest mega-terminal (Pier T, 290 acres) with 8 super post-panamax cranes in the center of Long Beach harbor. Kicking off the "mega" era, Hanjin Shipping Co. of South Korea moved to the port's largest cargo-handling facility. The 288-acre first phase features 12 gantry cranes each capable of reaching across 22 container-wide vessels, a 29-lane truck gate, and an on-dock rail yard with 83,000 feet of track. When the final phase is completed in 2004, the terminal will grow to 375 acres and include a nearly mile-long wharf.
August 2002 Mearsk Sealand moved from Long Beach to Los Angeles. Maersk traffic was about one quarter of all the containers moving through Long Beach.
On Pier J, SSA and its partner, China Ocean Shipping Co. expanded Pacific Container Terminal into the former Maersk terminal, giving them a total of nearly 6,000 feet of wharf and expanded on-dock rail capability.
Tokyo-based carrier "K" Line and its affiliate International Transportation Service (ITS) expanded into the former Sea-Land terminal on Pier G. As part of a major renovation of the combined complex, the port built a new 10-lane truck gate.
With Hanjin having moved from Pier A to Pier T, SSA Terminals (SSAT) Long Beach moved into the 170-acre Pier A facility, along with its key customers Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) and Zim. SSAT is an affiliate of Seattle-based SSA Marine, one of the world's leading cargo-handling services companies.
Port of Los Angeles stats:
|TEUs||loaded import||empty import||% empty||loaded export||empty export||% empty|
Vessel Calls for the Port of Los Angeles
|Container||Tanker||General Cargo||Dry Bulk||RO-RO|
Tankers generally unload bulk oil from Alaska and Saudi Arabia, RO-RO (Roll on roll off) generally handle import autos.
In August 1958, the Hawaiian Merchant made its first shipment of 20 cargo containers from Berth 135, marking the beginning of the containerized cargo revolution at the Port. Matson Navigation Company began full container service in 1960.
In late 1994, the Port launched its $650 million Pier 300/400 Implementation Program. In just 3 years, the Port completed Stage I of a dredging project that produced 29 million cubic yards of dredged soil for the first 265 acres of the new Pier 400 landfill. The dredging project also deepened shipping channels for vessels calling at two new cargo terminals on Pier 300 the 262 acre Global Gateway South container terminal and the 120 acre Los Angeles Export Terminal for coal and petroleum coke.
1997: APL Limited's Global Gateway South opened in May. Considered to be one of the world's largest and most technologically advanced ocean and rail container terminals. It is the largest terminal in the United States. Opened in May 1997, it covers 275 acres. Over 3,000 trucks pass through the GGS gates every day, 95 percent between 700am and 500pm.
1998: Terminal Island Container Transfer Facility completed in January, responding to the needs of Evergreen and NYK Line for on-dock intermodal capability. This 162 acre facility allows for the direct transfer of containers to and from ships and railcars.
Yang Ming Line operates a 130 acre (53 hectare) container terminal in the West Basin area of the Port of Los Angeles. It recently completed its own $20 million on-dock facility.
The Los Angeles Export Facility opens, serving as a West Coast gateway for exporting high-grade steam coal and petroleum coke from the western United States to industrialized countries in Asia.
70 percent of intermodal cargo is distributed by trucks to off-dock rail facilities for trans-loading to rail cars, and only 30 percent is accommodated by on-dock rail facilities at the marine terminals. Currently there are 6 off-dock rail terminals serving the port's intermodal cargo. They are Union Pacific's Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) in Carson, East LA (UP), Hobart (BNSF), LATC (UP) near downtown Los Angeles, City of Industry (UP), and the BNSF intermodal yard in San Bernardino.
- About 716,000 empty container units (or 1.3 million TEU, with 1.85 TEU per unit) moved eastbound from the marine terminals to local or regional inland destinations via rail and truck.
- About 1.9 million empty container units (3.5 million TEU) moved westbound from inland intermodal points, from local consignee warehouses, and other smaller flows back to marine terminal.
- About 80,000 units (148,000 TEU) moved directly between inland locations (cross-town movement), which include local "depot-direct" off-hires of leasing containers, intermodal depot direct off-hires, and empties reused for local exports.
The project was begun in 1997 and completed and opened April 15, 2002. On the first day, 33 trains used the Corridor. It improves rail and highway access to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by consolidating rail service parallel to Alameda and improving Alameda Streets by eliminating about 200 grade crossings. Trains can now travel between the ports and the rail yards in about 45 minutes, a trip that had taken as much as two-and-a-half hours before construction of the Corridor. It currently handles as many as 35 trains per day. On May 6, 2004 the corridor paid back its $573 million debt to the federal government. The Alameda Corridor carried a daily average of 5,008 containers in 2004, 638 per day more than during 2003.
Pacific Harbor Line
Pacific Harbor Line enjoys a diversified traffic base of more than 30,000 carloads annually. Commodities include automobiles, bulk minerals, lumber, scrap, food products, cotton, chemicals, steel, petroleum products and heavy equipment. About 30 PHL freight switching assignments each week provide flexible service that is both reliable and responsive to the operating and marketing needs of its customers.
By 2002 there were four on-dock rail systems at the Port of Los Angeles reducing the number of short distance truck trips. These four intermodal rail facilities together eliminate an estimated 1.4 million truck trips per year.
The San Diego Port District is focusing its efforts on becoming a distribution center for companies shipping their goods to the Southern California market. The port district has two cargo terminals the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal in San Diego and the National City Marine Terminal.
The freight company, the San Diego Port District and Pasha Services in National City jointly built the $25 million automobile distribution facility over the past decade to transfer cars from cargo ships to freight trains for shipment to markets.
Last year, Pasha Services imported more than 300,000 cars from Asia and sent half by rail to dealerships around the country. The other half were trucked to dealers throughout the Southwest. The facility has become the major U.S. distribution point for Honda, while Volkswagen has also committed to sending many of its Mexican-built cars through Pasha for export. The Volkswagens come by rail from Mexico to San Bernardino and then south to San Diego.
Nearly every day, the auto distribution facility sends out 40 rail cars and receives 25 rail cars.
The other major commodity shipped by rail is soda ash, which is used to make glass. Last year, North American Terminals exported 700,000 metric tons of the material out of San Diego, moving it by rail from its mines in Trona, Calif., to the port in an average of 20 covered hoppers per day.
Corwith is one of the busiest intermodal terminals in America. It covers 317 acres near downtown Chicago. In 1996, the terminal handled roughly one trailer or container every 30 seconds.
The Alliance terminal opened in 1994 and covers 575 acres. The intermodal terminal has three tracks, each 6,000 feet long, with truck lanes in between; Santa Fe officials say the terminal has a capacity of 300,000 container lifts per year.
Houston port stats: (terminals located on the Houston Ship Channel including Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Bayport Terminal) Port Ranking: 1st in the US in foreign tonnage and 2nd in total tonnage. The Port Authority's current Fentress Bracewell Barbours Cut Container Terminal handles more than half of the container cargo within the Gulf of Mexico and 80% of the containerized cargo in Texas.
Houston Containers Handled:
1994 TEUs 419,000
1996 TEUs 538,000
1998 TEUs 657,000
2000 TEUs 733,000
2002 loaded import TEUs 420,000
2002 loaded export TEUs 430,000
2003 loaded import TEUs 450,000
2003 loaded export TEUs 483,000
The new Maersk Sealand Houston terminal opened in March 2000. The project took five years before completion. Located within the Barbours Cut container terminal, terminal six occupies 2,000 of the 6,000 feet of the entire quay. It has four cranes, 12 receiving/delivering lanes, six scales and an on dock rail system. The shipping company has moved from its previous spot at terminal three, where Sealand service operated for years prior to its recent merger with Maersk Line.
Houston's Barbours Cut Terminal has been operating at capacity for nearly two years (2003), requiring terminal managers to find creative means for juggling the port's box growth. A dozen new rubber tire gantry cranes move boxes faster, and terminal hours are extended to include nights and weekends to handle the cargo crunch. Because a majority of the cargo that crosses Houston's wharves is destined for the immediate metro area, more than 70 percent of the freight unloaded from ships leaves the port by truck. There are seven intermodal terminals at or near the Port of Houston, but the lion's share of intermodal traffic moves through the Barbours Cut terminal's two intermodal facilities. One is operated and used by Maersk Sealand, while the other is run by the port. Houston has dominated the Gulf in container traffic for many years because of its prime geographic location with two major railroads. Houston is expected to begin construction this summer (June 2003) on its $1.2 billion Bayport Container Terminal, which will include seven container berths, 18 cranes and an intermodal yard. Some 18 months ago, BNSF initiated intermodal container service at Barbours Cut for Maersk Sealand after the port completed a $15 million renovation of a rail container loading facility at Barbours Cut. BNSF had been moving boxes to the terminal by truck from its rail yard near Hobby Airport. Now the rail service transports them directly.
The Port of Corpus Christi, Texas doesn't have the container congestion that dogs Houston, but the port is developing a rail master plan in anticipation of expanding its intermodal trade. Historically, the port's rail cargo has been dry bulk: grain, grain products and PL-480 cargoes as well as bulk materials, ores and minerals. But all the port's general cargo wharves have dockside rail, said Port Transportation Manager Fred Babin. Cargo or containers are moved from the dock to one of the port's three line-haul carriers by the privately owned Corpus Christi Terminal Railroad.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad operates a 735-acre intermodal rail yard. BNSF handles about 40,000 containers per month at Alliance for companies such as Daimler-Chrysler, JCPenney, Michael's, Hyundai and Kia.
FedEx delivery service has its southwest regional hub at Alliance. The facility is the company's only completely automated hub, handling about 175,000 packages per day.
Norfolk Southern's Whitaker Intermodal Terminal (Austell, Georgia), which opened in 2001 as the capstone of a $380 million, four-year investment initiative in new intermodal infrastructure. Situated on 450 acres, the new yard is one of the most advanced in the country.
Union Pacific's Global III intermodal terminal (Rochelle, Illinois), which officially opened in August 2003, though still not running at full capacity. Sitting on 1,250 acres with over 37 miles of track, this new hub is expected to eventually handle 720,000 containers per year, more than even Los Angeles. Total investment in the facility totaled $181 million.
BNSF's Logistics Park Chicago (Joliet, Illinois): a 621-acre intermodal yard opened in August 2002 and marks BNSF's fourth Chicago-area intermodal terminal. The facility handles roughly 800,000 container lifts per year. Wal-Mart�s 3.4 million-square-foot import distribution facility is within a half mile of the intermodal yard.
Duluth, MN port stats for 1997:
The Port's three principal cargoes of iron ore, coal and grain represented 90 percent of total commerce. Iron ore shipments of 16.47 million metric tons contributed 44 percent. Coal equaled 36 percent with 13.37 million tons, and grain movements of 3.38 million tons contributed 10 percent.
One of the biggest problems in the US is the trade imbalance. Far too many containers are returning to other countries empty. In 2009 the ports with the largest imbalance were Los Angeles and Long Beach. The difference between imported loaded containers and exported loaded containers was 1,974,00 teu and 1,257,000 respectively. The imbalance at Seattle was 167,000 teu and Tacoma was 40,000 teu. There were some ports on the good side having more export loads than import loads, Oakland, CA was 114,000 teu and Portland, OR was 17,000 teu. The port with the highest ratio of exports to imports was Houston, TX with 292,000 teu.
Japan is our only Asian trading partner where the US has more loaded containers going west than coming east. A typical eastbound double stack train from the West Coast with 200 international containers will be almost all loaded containers. Whereas a westbound train will have 90 loaded and 110 empty international containers. Domestic double stack trains are a lot harder to figure. In the past there were more domestic loads going west. However, by mixing domestic and international containers on a train the numbers could be 10 empty containers going east and only 75 empties going west.