• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.743
    -0.027
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.978
    -0.165
    -7.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.916
    -0.086
    -8.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.446
    -0.049
    -3.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.006
    0.021
    2.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    0.000
    0%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.100
    0.056
    2.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.597
    -0.064
    -3.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.444
    -0.031
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.181
    -0.068
    -5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
    0.038
    2.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,385.190
    -18.330
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.800
    -0.320
    -4.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,385.780
    -15.500
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.743
    -0.027
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.978
    -0.165
    -7.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.916
    -0.086
    -8.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.446
    -0.049
    -3.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.006
    0.021
    2.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    0.000
    0%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.100
    0.056
    2.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.597
    -0.064
    -3.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.444
    -0.031
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.181
    -0.068
    -5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
    0.038
    2.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,385.190
    -18.330
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.800
    -0.320
    -4.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,385.780
    -15.500
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
American ShipperShipping

Fuller ships and extra loaders being used to divert West Coast cargo

Panama Canal has seen fuller vessels and unscheduled “sweeper” ships moving cargo to the East Coast.

  The congestion at West Coast ports is resulting in fuller ships moving from the Far East to the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts through the Panama Canal and Suez Canal as well as many “extra loaders” or “sweeper ships” — containerships that are not part of any regular rotation — moving cargo to and from U.S. East Coast ports.
   Richard Larrabee, the director of the Port Commerce division of the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey, said Thursday that “Between January and the
end of March, we will see at least 12 extra loader vessels. I would
expect that this concept will continue through May.” He said the ships are expected to deliver cargo that normally would have moved through West Coast ports and take back empties.
   Speaking at the TPM conference in Long Beach on Tuesday, Jorge Quijano, the chief executive officer of the Panama Canal Authority, said his country’s waterway has seen about a 5-7 percent increase in the amount of cargo on containerships transiting the canal to the U.S East and Gulf Coast and a 7 percent increase in the utilization on the backhaul from the East Coast.
   But he noted that because the Panama Canal is still a little more than a year from completing a project to allow larger ships to use the waterway, more cargo diverted from the West Coast to East Coast ports is moving on large ships transiting the Suez Canal.
   He noted the Canal saw much more cargo in 2002 diverted through the canal after a 10 day shutdown of the West Coast ports because many of the vessels used in the transpacific were still small enough to pass through the waterway.
   Quijano said there are 10 container services that move cargo between the Far East to the U.S. East Coast or Gulf, but that in addition, the canal has seen several ships that are not part of any regular container service using the canal or planning to transit to canal. Many of these are smaller than panamax size.
   Sources told American Shipper that there may be as many as 15-20 or more extra loaders or sweeper ships moving cargo from the Far East to the U.S. East Coast through the Panama or Suez Canal, including larger-than-panamax ships that are sailing through the Suez.
   They noted that some of these ships are repositioning to other trades. Those ships are expected to deliver additional cargo in ports such New York, Savannah, and even smaller ports such as Miami.
   Some ships are also being used to carry exports or empty containers back to the Far East.

Show More

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.
Close