New Articles

Logistics Planning Information For Key U.S. Seaports

global trade logistics

Logistics Planning Information For Key U.S. Seaports

For America’s seaports, a strong start to the new year on our side of the world is credited to … a new year on the other side.

Let us explain using the Port of Long Beach as an example. Trade moving through the busy Southern California seaport rose in January (a.k.a. the first month of the new year) as retailers stocked up ahead of Lunar New Year, when east Asian factories typically close for up to two weeks.

Read also: Cargo Volumes Handled by U.S. Seaports on the Rise

Dockworkers and terminal operators at Long Beach moved 674,015 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in January 2024, up 17.5% from January 2023. Imports increased 23.5% to 325,339 TEUs and exports were down 18.1% to 86,525 TEUs. Empty containers moved through the port increased 28% to 262,151 TEUs.

“Retailers stocked their warehouses in January ahead of the slower import activity we typically see during Lunar New Year celebrations,” explains Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “We are ready to grow our volumes and hope to see continued growth through 2024 as we gradually recapture market share.”

“The waterfront workforce and terminal operators are energizing the economy by keeping the goods moving at the Port of Long Beach,” adds Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera, Jr. “We’re staying the course by attracting business, operating sustainably and developing projects that will ensure our long-term growth.”

The strong start to 2024 marks the fifth consecutive monthly year-over-year increase following 13 months of declines in cargo movement at the Port of Long Beach. And it’s indicative of what’s happening at many other U.S. seaports experiencing increased cargo volumes compared to pre-pandemic levels, particularly containerized goods. 

This surge creates opportunities but also brings challenges like congestion, capacity limitations, and rising costs.

KEY TRENDS

  • Increased Trade: Global trade recovery and e-commerce growth are driving higher cargo volumes.
  • Supply Chain Challenges: Labor shortages, port congestion, and container availability issues continue to disrupt smooth operations.
  • Tech and Infrastructure Upgrades: Many ports are investing in automation, data analytics, and infrastructure improvements to enhance efficiency.
  • Environmental Initiatives: Sustainability becomes a growing focus, with Green Port initiatives gaining traction.

SPECIFIC OPERATIONS

  • Container Terminals: Busy, with potential delays and capacity constraints, especially on the West Coast.
  • Breakbulk and Ro/Ro: Seeing steady growth, particularly for vehicles and project cargo.
  • Cruise Industry: Rebounding in many ports, bringing additional economic activity.
  • Inland Transportation: Trucking facing challenges due to driver shortages and rising fuel costs. Rail networks playing a crucial role in efficient distribution.

LOOKING AHEAD

  • Continued high cargo volumes expected, requiring further investment in infrastructure and technology.
  • Supply chain disruptions likely to persist, requiring innovative solutions and closer collaboration between stakeholders.
  • Sustainability efforts will continue to be a focus, influencing port operations and cargo handling practices.

What follows is a general overview of specific ports. Keep in mind that individual ports have unique strengths, weaknesses and operational specifics. Always research individual ports based on your specific needs and consult with logistics professionals for detailed planning.

PORT OF BALTIMORE

Contact: World Trade Center Institute, 401 E. Pratt St. #1653, Baltimore, MD 21202. (800) 638-7519 – mpa.maryland.gov

  • Strengths: Strong rail network, proximity to I-95 and I-70, diverse cargo handling, record-breaking Ro/Ro volumes.
  • Considerations: Limited container terminal capacity (presently; a new container terminal is in the works), potential congestion on I-95 during peak hours.
  • Unique planning tip: Explore multimodal options utilizing both rail and trucking for efficient inland distribution, especially for high-volume shipments.

NORTH CAROLINA PORTS

Contact: North Carolina State Ports Authority, 2202 Burnett Blvd., Wilmington, NC 28401. (910) 763-1621 – ncports.com

  • Strengths: Multiple port locations offering regional access, growing container volumes, Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) availability.
  • Considerations: Drayage costs may be higher due to inland distances, port infrastructure upgrades ongoing.
  • Unique planning tip: Consider utilizing the Port of Wilmington if targeting the Southeast market, or Port of Morehead City for faster access to central North Carolina.

PORT OF LONG BEACH
Contact: Port of Long Beach, 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. (562) 283-7000 – polb.com

  • Strengths: Largest container port in North America, advanced technology infrastructure, efficient cargo handling.
  • Considerations: High competition and potential delays, complex customs clearance procedures.
  • Unique planning tip: Utilize online shipment tracking tools and real-time data to anticipate potential delays and adjust logistics accordingly.

PORT OF CHARLESTON
Contact: South Carolina Ports Authority, 196 Concord St., Charleston, SC 29401. (843) 958-8298 – scspa.com

  • Strengths: Efficient container operations, growing cruise industry, strategic location for Southeast distribution.
  • Considerations: Limited availability of empty containers, potential congestion on I-26 during peak season.
  • Unique planning tip: Look into Charleston’s Green Port initiatives for environmentally conscious supply chain solutions.

PORT OF PORTLAND

Contact: Port of Portland, 7200 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 92718. (800) 547-8411 – portofportland.com

  • Strengths: Focus on forest products and specialty cargo, growing barge traffic, access to Pacific Northwest markets.
  • Considerations: Limited container terminal capacity, smaller port size compared to others.
  • Unique planning tip: Partner with local logistics providers familiar with the port’s specific handling procedures for specialty cargo.

PORT OF NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY
Contact: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: New York Marine Terminals, 90 Columbia St., Brooklyn, NY 11201; New Jersey Marine Terminals, 260 Kellogg St., Port Newark, NJ 07114. (973) 578-2192 – panynj.gov

  • Strengths: Largest East Coast port complex, extensive trade network, diverse cargo capabilities.
  • Considerations: High costs, complex regulations, potential labor disruptions.
  • Unique planning tip: Utilize experienced customs brokers and freight forwarders to navigate the port’s intricate clearance procedures.

PORT OF GALVESTON
Contact: Port of Galveston, 123 Rosenberg Ave., Galveston, TX 77553. (409) 765-9321 – portofgalveston.com

  • Strengths: Strategic location for Gulf Coast access, growing container volumes, lower costs compared to East Coast ports.
  • Considerations: Weather vulnerability, limited rail network compared to other ports.
  • Unique planning tip: Plan for potential weather disruptions and consider alternative transportation options in case of hurricanes or other severe weather events.

Please remember that these are just general starting points, and the best logistics plan for your specific needs will depend on various factors such as cargo type, origin/destination, budget and desired transit time. Again, conduct further research and consult with logistics professionals for tailored advice.

podcast cover art - port ny & nj

GT Podcast – Episode 129 – The Port Authority of NY & NJ – The Port That’s Doing Alot and Doing it Right

Welcome to another episode of “Logistically Speaking,” the podcast that delves deep into the pulse of global trade and logistics.  Today, we’re excited to welcome a very special guest, Bethann Rooney, the Port Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, one of the busiest and most significant ports in the United States.

In this episode, we will uncover why the Port of NYNJ stands out as a powerhouse in the global port community. Bethann will share her insights on how the port not only handles immense logistical challenges but does so with exceptional efficiency and innovation. We’ll explore the strategies that make this port a model of success, emphasizing sustainability and forward-thinking management.

Moreover, we’ll dive into a unique ecological concern—can a small marine organism actually threaten the accessibility of big container ships? This might sound minor, but it has the potential to create major ripples in global shipping logistics.

Stay tuned as we navigate through these fascinating topics, offering you a behind-the-scenes look at the complexities and triumphs of running one of the world’s most influential ports.

For more information on the Port Authority of NY & NJ, visit https://www.panynj.gov/port/en/index.html

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Logistically Speaking Series and more here!

Podcast cover art with Logistics Plus

GT Podcast – Episode 128 – LOGISTICS PLUS: An Innovative Leader and Top 3PL

In this episode of GT Podcast’s Logistically Speaking, we will talk with Yuriy Ostapyak, Chief Operating Officer of Logistics Plus.  We will learn how Logistics Plus has grown from a logistics company to a supply chain management company that offers highly specialized solutions for Fortune 50 companies in the realm of IT, IT infrastructure, and business intelligence.  You won’t want to miss this one!

For more information on Logistics Plus, visit https://www.logisticsplus.com/

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Logistically Speaking Series and more here!

wind Environmental hyperion

Supply Chain Challenges in Offshore Wind Industry

The challenges facing the supply chain in the offshore wind industry are expected to be significant. According to experts, there are multiple aspects that need to be addressed for successful project implementation. While Pier Wind is one such component, there are other crucial factors like manufacturing ports and vessel construction that need to be considered.

One advantage of the West Coast in terms of offshore wind development is that, unlike the East and Gulf coasts, there is no requirement for specialized Turbine Installation Vessels to install wind turbines into the seabed. These vessels are large and expensive, primarily used for fixed-bottom installations. Floating wind turbines offer an alternative approach that eliminates the need for such vessels, making the process more cost-effective.

However, meeting the U.S. built/Jones Act construction mandates poses a significant challenge. The Jones Act requires vessels involved in domestic transportation to be built in the United States. Plezia, an industry expert, acknowledges this hurdle, particularly regarding vessel construction and compliance with the Jones Act. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the supply chain infrastructure, Plezia suggests referring to the California port readiness plan. This plan provides valuable information on the manufacturers of blades, towers, foundation assemblies, and staging integration required for the development of 25 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity and domestic manufacturing.

Regarding component sourcing, initial plans indicate that sourcing components from Asia is a possibility. This approach would allow for the importation of necessary components for early deployment and integration. However, it is essential to note that over time, the focus will likely shift towards domestic manufacturing to ensure a sustainable and self-reliant supply chain.

In conclusion, the offshore wind industry faces significant challenges in its supply chain. These challenges include addressing vessel construction and compliance with the Jones Act, as well as sourcing components for initial deployment. However, with strategic planning, collaboration, and investments in domestic manufacturing, these challenges can be overcome to unlock the tremendous potential of offshore wind energy.

GT Podcast Episode 127 Cover Art

GT Podcast – Episode 127 – North Carolina Ports – What it Takes to be North America’s #1 Most Productive Port

In GT Podcast – Episode 127 of Logistically Speaking, we will speak with North Carolina Ports Executive Director, Brian Clark.  We will learn why North Carolina Ports has seized the #1 spot in North America for productivity, what advantages the port offers from an intermodal side of business, and why the heck are things turning so cold at the ports and businesses are loving it!

For more information on North Carolina Ports, visit https://ncports.com/

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Logistically Speaking Series and more here!

Podcast cover - GT Podcasts Episode 12 - Going Global Live Expo

GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 12 – Going Global Live Expo

In today’s episode of Community Connection, we speak with Going Global Live’s Event Director, Reggie Chard, to learn about a trade show that is truly taking over the world.  We will see why someone should attend and how someone could benefit from exhibiting.  We are also going to take a look at the importance of globalization in our world economy.

For more information on Going Global Live,  visit https://www.goinggloballive.co.uk/

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!

automation tompkins

Lauren Fiochetta Joins Tompkins Robotics as Senior Marketing Manager

Tompkins Robotics, a global leader focused on the robotic automation of distribution and fulfillment operations, has named Lauren Fiochetta to the role of Senior Marketing Manager. In this new role, she will develop and implement omnichannel marketing campaigns designed to attract and qualify customers across a wide range of industries, according to Tompkins Robotics President and CEO Mike Futch.

“We are excited to welcome Lauren to the team at Tompkins Robotics at a time when the warehouse and retail automation industry is poised for dramatic growth,” said Futch. “She is a marketing powerhouse with extensive B2B experience and an existing track record of success in the logistics and robotic automation space.”

Prior to joining Tompkins, she held marketing management roles for global manufacturing companies in the logistics, industrial materials and beverage industries, directing data-driven marketing campaigns encompassing advertising, public relations, social media and a variety of other digital marketing channels.

Fiochetta graduated from Westminster College in Utah with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.

About Tompkins Robotics

Tompkins Robotics is a global leader focused on the robotic automation of distribution and fulfillment operations. Our primary system, tSort, consists of autonomous mobile robots that sort a wide range of items and parcels to consolidation points for order fulfillment, store replenishment, returns, parcel distribution – virtually any process in the supply chain. tSort is a truly modular, scalable, and portable robotic sortation system that helps build world-class supply chains while providing unmatched flexibility and throughput.  Tompkins Robotics solutions maximize performance, making our clients more agile, adaptable, profitable, and successful in todays dynamic marketplace.  For more information, visit https://tompkinsrobotics.com.

podcast cover art for GT Podcast - Junction City, KS

GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 11 – Junction City: ELITE City of Kansas Taking Growth to a New Level

In this episode of Community Connection, we will speak with Economic Development Director,  Mickey Fornaro-Dean, to learn about what makes Junction City, Kansas such a special and unique opportunity for business. What are the workforce, transportation, and land opportunities that are being capitalized on? And what the heck was Custer doing in this opportunity-rich community?

For more information on Junction City-Geary County Economic Development Commission,  visit https://www.jcgced.com/

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!

podcast cover art

GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 10 – Jerome, Idaho – A Place You Can Live, and Love, Where You Locate Your Business

In today’s episode, we go all the way to Idaho to speak with Jerome 20/20’s Executive Director, Larry Hall.  He will tell us about what makes Jerome, Idaho such a special and unique opportunity for business. What industries, new and old, thrive in this region of Southern Idaho?  And, are there more cows or more people in Jerome?

 

For more information on Jerome 20/20 Economic Development Organization,  visit https://jerome2020.com/

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!

GT Podcast Cover Art

GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 9 – Businesses Strike it Rich in Northeast Nevada

In this episode, we are heading to the Silver State, better known as Nevada.  And no… not the hustle and bustle and neon lights of Las Vegas, but to the unique region of Northeast Nevada, where we will talk with NNRDA’s Executive Director, Sheldon Mudd, to learn more about what makes Northeastern Nevada a great place for business.

For more information on the Northeast Nevada Regional Development Authority,  visit https://nnrda.com/

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!