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Maersk’s 27,846 TEU call

APM Terminals in Los Angeles claims a container exchange record on a North American call.

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The Port of Los Angeles has just announced a new record container exchange on a single call. “The Eleonora Maersk, calling at the Port’s APM Terminals, set a North American record for a single cargo vessel with the off-loading and then loading of 27,846 TEUs”. The Elenonora has a nominal capacity of 15,500 TEU, which means the call was getting close to a full unload and then load back.


AIS data shows the Elenonora arrived in the morning on 29 November and left in the evening on December 7 - an eight day port time. It is not known whether the vessel waited for a berth. It does not appear that the vessel was on a regular service string; it was loaded in Hong Kong, sailed to Los Angeles, and then departed for Nansha.


In the transpacific market, at least at the moment, carriers seem prepared to make very long port calls on the US west coast to cope with import demand and load empty boxes for repositioning into China. In November the Husky Terminal in Tacoma set a single call record for the port when it moved 5,276 containers (not TEU) off and on from Hapag-Lloyd’s 8,600 TEU Nagoya Express. That call took four days and required 27 gangs of longshore labour to process.


Back in Los Angeles, the port handled 832,331 TEU at all terminals in November 2019, “the fifth consecutive month volumes exceeded 800,000 TEUs and the sixth busiest month in the Port’s history. The Port is on track to surpass 9 million TEUs once again this year,” the port said in a statement.


“In November, we processed a number of high-volume vessels brought into service to facilitate the holiday season cargo surge and accommodate the push to import cargo before tariffs that were previously scheduled to increase on January 1st,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we enjoy the holiday season, I’m grateful to all of our labor workforce, customers and stakeholders for the role they play in moving such a high volume of trade. As 2019 approaches, we are committed to tackling the challenges and seizing the opportunities that await.”


The port’s November numbers show a decline across all cargo categories compared to November 2017. Imports decreased 8.8% to 422,793 TEU, exports fell 14.3% to 152,527 TEUs, and empty boxes decreased 9.1% to 257,011 TEUs. The total November volume of 832,331 TEU was a 9.9% decrease on the same month in 2017. The port noted, however that the 924,256 TEU handled in November 2017 was “an all-time record until it was surpassed in October 2018”.


A more meaningful comparison is the year-to-date total, which at 8.55M TEU is down 0.1% on the same period in 2017.

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