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Inefficient Container Movements at Port of Long Beach to be Focus of New Study

Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Army Corps of Engineers has announced its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement to support a study of the feasibility of improving existing navigation channels within the port of Long Beach, Calif., to remedy inefficiencies to container movements. A draft EIS is scheduled to be published in late 2016 and a public hearing to receive comments on the draft will be held thereafter. In the meantime, a public scoping meeting will be held Jan. 19 in Long Beach where the public will have an opportunity to express opinions, raise issues, and submit data and information relating to the scope of the feasibility study and the EIS.

According to the Army Corps, the primary problem is the inefficient operation of deep draft vessels in secondary channels, which increases transportation costs. Specifically, due to depth limitations along channels accessing the port’s container terminals, existing container vessels cannot load to their maximum draft, which is causing light-loading of vessels at the point of origin and delays to an increasing number of containerships. These trends are expected to increase as new, larger container vessels continue to be added to the worldwide fleet.

All reasonable alternatives to address these problems will be investigated and evaluated. These will include structural measures (deepening the secondary access channels to Pier J and Pier T West Basin, constructing turning basins in the secondary access channels to Pier J and Pier T West Basin, deepening the approach channel, or deepening the anchorage along the main channel) and non-structural measures (high tide riding, light loading, and vessel rerouting) as well as taking no action.

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