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Containership berthed at the Port of Los Angeles

Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles

Inbound Container Growth Pushing U.S. Ports to Their Limits, Shipping Veteran Says

Total Views: 1588
April 3, 2024

(Bloomberg) —

The biggest US ports are stretching capacity limits and need to expand to handle anticipated growth in inbound shipping, according to shipping industry veteran John McCown

Even before the Baltimore bridge disaster that shut one of the East Coast’s most important delivery points, space was so constrained at the nation’s 10 largest ports that containers unloaded from ocean-going vessels were being stacked six high in some places, said McCown, founder of Blue Alpha Capital and former CEO of Trailer Bridge Inc. 

The stacks can’t go any higher without threatening to crack pavements below, he noted.

“Capacity limits are closer than most people think,” McCown said Tuesday at the Port of the Future conference at the University of Houston. “Our container system is approaching its physical limits.”

Over the next 20 years, the US will need to expand inbound shipping capacity by the equivalent of four Ports of Los Angeles, said McCown, a senior nonresident fellow at the Center for Maritime Strategy.

“Inbound traffic will continue to grow,” he said. “We need to take steps now.”Play Video

© 2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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