The US Southeast ports are prepping for more growth, but is it sustainable?
It was a perfect storm of pandemic-related congestion involving the e-Commerce boom and labor talks that saw a diversion of goods from the Ports of LA and Long Beach to Savannah, Charleston, and other southeast coastal ports. With imports down and declining, will that growth continue?
Byron Miller, Chief Commercial Officer at the South Carolina Ports Authority (SC Ports) thinks it will. The Journal of Commerce (JoC) reports Miller thinks “shippers will continue to route a significant portion of this cargo through the Southeast to take advantage of a growing population in the region and supply chain infrastructure around the ports. Moving cargo from Asia through the West Coast provides lower ocean freight rates and transit times, but if cargo is destined for the East Coast, it makes sense for companies to establish a distribution footprint there.”
Not everyone agrees with Miller. JoC says that Cliff Pyron, Chief Commercial Officer at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) believes “the shift in discretionary cargo from the West Coast makes it difficult to tell how much of this growth is organic and likely to continue flowing through the Southeast region after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and its employers agree on a new coastwide contract.”
However it plays out, these ports are betting on themselves with “aggressive expansion plans” and actively pursuing new business. From added staff, extended hours, technology and optimization, widening projects, intermodal centers, investments in heavy equipment, and storage facilities, they’re playing to win.
At TOC Logistics, so are we. We operate on a foundation of transparency, optimization, and collaboration. Wherever your cargo needs to go, whether it be the US East or West Coast, abroad, or anywhere in between, we’re the global supply chain solution partner you can trust. Reach out to us today to see how we can optimize your cargo strategy.