Larger Ships Means Larger Problems For Ports

    New vessels are being built bigger than ever and shipping lines are forming bigger alliances to make the most of them. Shipping lines are utilizing larger ships by allowing other alliance members' cargo on their vessels. However, the past few months have left container stacking areas in the quays full and overflowing. In particular Los Angeles and Long Beach have been citing struggles in handling the massive volume of empty containers during this past peak shipping season.

    As the August to December shipping season comes to a close, vessels have been having more delays, and the Union's actions are not the only ones to blame. Shipping vessels have increased in size dramatically over the past few years and are becoming too much to handle. Loads are increasing in both frequency and size, each shipping carrying more cargo on it than ever before. In addition vessel sharing has become more and more commonplace amongst shipping lines. The space available for storing empty shipping containers is no longer efficient, or even satisfactory as some ports such as Oakland, face higher shipping volumes than ever recorded.

    The problem has become so exacerbated that the Long Beach port has even opened up a temporary empty container depot. Aiming to help reduce congestion, Poland has also opened up new quays to help handle shipping loads. Fortunately as the peak shipping is now past, adjustments can be made to these ports to handle larger vessels and allocating new sites for empty containers can be made.