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West Coast Ports

West Coast ports are getting ready for the Panama Canal enlargement in 2015. Their major gateways have harbors and terminals of 50 foot with dimensions of 100 to 400 acres. Unlike the West ones, many ports on Gulf and East Coasts try to enlarge their water terminals, and make their harbors deeper for making the big vessels pass the canal in 2015. Such efficient work is not in vain.

Current Capacity and Plans of West Coast Ports

Analysts say that for preventing the market share lowering to West Coast ports, some of the gateways should improve their efficiency in discharging ships, containers moving across the yards. They should expedite the dispatch of containers by intermodal truck and rail. Such gateways are such as Seattle-Tacoma, Los-Angeles Long-Beach, and Oakland.

Today the container moves that define West Coast ports operations account for 25 to 26 per crane per one hour. They should be enhanced to 30 moves per hour. Two port of Los Angeles and Long Beach can operate about 40 percent of US imports from Asia. They are intending to spend really more than $7 billion on more productive and bigger terminals and improving the correlation with rail and freeway networks. This is planned to be made in the next decade. The actions for automating yard are being explored by terminal operators. They also plan to automate on-dock rail and gate maintenance.

The investment in expensive equipment, for instance dual-hoist cranes, automatic stacking and guided vehicles is expected from the most functional terminals. West Coast ports used to offer the advantage of 7 to 10 days transit time to the USA inner regions. They also provide the opportunity for per-slot ship costs reducing. The arriving ships are able to have the capacity of 13,000 TEU. Ports want to outdo the canal by going on with expanding the 70 per cent market share of the American imports from Asia.

Analytical Reports for West Coast

The annual report of Pacific Maritime Association which has been received in 2013 says that Washington ports caused the growth in US West Coast container volume in 2012. The same year the 3.7 percent increase in container volume was observed in the Seattle-Tacoma port. The figure of 16.9 percent of the whole loaded containers operated at West Coast ports was made by Washington. Comparing with 2011, South California's container volume grew 1 percent in 2012. In 2011 it was 33 percent exports and 67 percent of total imports. Los Angeles Long Beach port total figure was 70 and 6 percent of the West Coast ports operated container volume.

The year of 2012 also made the container volume of Oakland port to increase. It grew 0.5 percent comparing with 2011. The total imports were 45 percent and exports accounted for 55 percent. The market share of Oakland was 11 and 5 percent on the West Coast. Speaking about Portland, its container volume fell 2 percent in 2012. It had 43 percent imports in total and 57 percent exports. Oregon port had 1 percent of the containers operated by West Coast ports. These ports operated a complete 15.4 million container units of 20-foot in size in 2012. They had the growth of 1.3 percent container volume comparing with 2011. Imports were 62 percent totally and exports accounted for 38 percent.