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The Port of Long Beach marks its second busiest year on record

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The Port of Long Beach marks its second busiest year on record. Image: Unsplash
The Port of Long Beach marks its second busiest year on record. Image: Unsplash
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The Port of Long Beach marked its second-busiest year on record by moving 9.13 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2022, allowing for a return to normal operations while once again serving as the nation’s leading export seaport.

The Port ended 2022 with 9,133,657 TEUs moved, down 2.7% from 2021, which remains the Port’s most active year in its 112-year history.

Imports declined 4.9% to 4,358,789 TEUs, while exports totaled 1,414,882 TEUs, down 1.6%. Despite the slight decline, the Port of Long Beach remained the nation’s leading export port for a second consecutive year, for loaded TEUs. Empty containers processed through the Port decreased a narrow 0.14% from a year earlier to 3,359,986 TEUs.

“Cargo is moving smoothly as we move past the economic effects of COVID-19,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “In 2023, we will continue to invest in digital and physical infrastructure projects, focus on market share and develop long-term improvements that will strengthen our competitiveness and keep goods moving efficiently.”

“Despite the challenges of the last two years, we have focused on longtime customer relationships and invested in projects that put us closer to a zero-emissions future,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “In the year ahead, we will collaborate with our skilled workforce, industry partners, and communities surrounding the Port to build upon those improvements and secure our position as the Port of Choice for trans-Pacific trade.”

A rise in online purchases and aggressive efforts to transfer long-dwelling cargo off the docks bolstered trade moving through the Port during the first half of 2022, with monthly cargo records in January, February, March, April, June and July.

Consumer spending cooled by summer due to rising prices driven by inflation, while vessel transfers between the San Pedro Bay ports and a shift in imported goods toward the Gulf and East coasts contributed to a softening of cargo volume during the second half of 2022.

The easing returned the Port to normal operations by year’s end. Economists are forecasting a further decline in cargo volumes through 2023 as consumers shift their purchases to services over goods.

Trade was down 27.9% in December compared to the same period in 2021 with 544,104 TEUs moved. Imports dropped 32.6% to 241,643 TEUs while exports increased 1.6% to 115,782 TEUs. Empty containers were down 33.7% to 186,680 TEUs.

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Maritime

Container traffic at the Port of Valencia falls by 7% in 2022

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Container traffic at the Port of Valencia falls by 7% in 2022. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
Container traffic at the Port of Valencia falls by 7% in 2022. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
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Valenciaport, as a thermometer of economic activity and world trade, reflects in its 2022 data the international crisis that is affecting the business situation and the global exchange of goods, which is facing a complex situation marked by the war in Ukraine, increased neo-protectionism, high inflation and the rise in fuel and raw material prices. Despite the fall in total traffic (-6.92%) and container traffic (-9.85%) during the previous year, Valenciaport maintains its share of 40% of import/export traffic in the Spanish port system, as in previous years. The year closed with an increase in the number of cars handled, which rose by 22.25%, and passengers, both on regular lines (+48.67%) and cruise passengers (+376%).

Thus, according to data from the Statistical Bulletin of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), a total of 79,365,321 tonnes of goods were handled in 2022, representing a decrease of 6.92%, while TEUs amounted to 5,052,272 with a fall of 9.85% – in line with the indications of the SeaIntelligence consultancy of a drop in world traffic of around 10%. A decrease in containers that occurs mainly in transit containers with a drop of 416,137 units, 16.81% in relative terms with respect to the 2021 financial year. They went from 2,475,802 in 2021 to 2,059,665 last year, traffic that has been diverted to other Mediterranean ports. Regarding full cargo containers (export), which reached almost one million, there was a decrease of 82,032 containers, -7.59% less than in 2021. And full unloading containers (import) have grown by 1.55% to 850,589 units. Empty containers fell by 5.54% in 2022.

About the type of goods, the current situation is a clear reflection of Valenciaport’s traffic and the change in the arrival/departure of products. Thus, liquid bulk has mobilised 5,818,821 tonnes (+50.44%), highlighting the natural gas that has been managed through the Port of Sagunto, which has doubled in 2022 compared to 2021 to reach 4,118,575 tonnes. In fact, the number of ships dedicated to the transport of products such as energy products was 322, 10.65% more than the previous year. The United States accounts for half of all natural gas imports. Solid bulk cargoes exceeded 2,255,164 tonnes, up 4.45%, with an increase of 12.14% in cereals and their flours. Non-containerised cargo maintained the 2021 quota with 14,763,010 tonnes, while the decrease occurred in containerised cargo with 56,125,555 tonnes, 12.33% less.

In general, traffic has decreased in all sectors. Iron and steel fell by 9.85%, construction materials by 12.61% and chemical products by 9.99%. The agri-food sector maintains in 2022 the figures of 2021, with a decrease of 0.47%. The sectors that increased are energy (+63.5%), other goods (+2.39%) with wood and cork (+12.95%) and vehicles and transport elements (+1.36%) standing out.

About automobile traffic, during 2022 it should be noted that 603,566 units were handled at the València and Sagunto docks, a 22.25% increase. In absolute figures, 109,869 more vehicles were handled than in 2021. This vehicle traffic is mainly with Italy, Belgium and Turkey, which account for 50% of operations. In terms of ro-ro traffic (a system whereby a vessel transports cargo on wheels), total traffic amounted to 12,946,088 tonnes, 0.64% more than in 2021.

The United States, Italy and China, the main partners

In terms of total traffic by country, according to the APV’s Statistical Bulletin, the United States generated the most traffic with a total of 8,433,368 tonnes and an increase of 9.43%. This is followed by Italy with 7,490,11 tonnes – a similar figure to 2021 – while China is in third place with a decrease of 12% and a total of 6,073,718 tonnes. The Asian giant occupies the first position in container traffic with 530,902 (-13.32%), followed by the United States with 487,828 (-8.18%) and Turkey with 250,731 (-21.29%).

The United Kingdom is the most dynamic country in 2022 with an increase of 34.16% in total goods and 25.14% in containers. Other countries that have grown in 2022 include Nigeria (+39.64%), Belgium (+34.11%) and the Netherlands (13%).

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Maritime

Addition of King Abdulaziz Port to a new freight service operated by MSC

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Addition of King Abdulaziz Port to a new freight service operated by MSC. Image: Saudi Ports Authority
Addition of King Abdulaziz Port to a new freight service operated by MSC. Image: Saudi Ports Authority
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The Saudi Ports Authority has announced the addition of King Abdulaziz Port to a new freight service operated by Swiss-based container group MSC.

The latest connection is set to bolster the Dammam based port as a focal point for regional and global trade while strengthening the Kingdom’s hub credentials in fulfilment of the ambitions of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy.

The capital of the Kingdom’s Eastern Province will enjoy weekly sailings to eight maritime destinations spanning the Arabian Gulf, South Asia, and Southern Africa. They include the ports of Khalifa bin Salman in Bahrain, Khalifa in UAE, Qasim in Pakistan, Mundra and Hazira in India, Port Louis in Mauritius, and Durban and Coega in South Africa. The service, which started on 21st January, will feature five vessels with an average carrying capacity exceeding 6000 TEUs.

As a world-class logistics center boasting top-tier infrastructure and capabilities, King Abdulaziz Port was an obvious choice for shipping liners looking to expand their routes in 2022. Notable examples include SeaLead Shipping’s Far East to Middle East (FAM) service, Emirates Shipping Line’s Jebel Ali Bahrain Shuwaikh (JBS) service, Gulf-India Express 2 (GIX2) service by Aladin Express, and Maersk’s Shaheen Express service.

Developing the Kingdom’s industrial capabilities to fulfill the objectives of the National Transport Strategy in line with Saudi Vision 2030, has and will always be one of Mawani’s main objectives, thus contributing to making Saudi Arabia a pioneer in the ports sector.

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Environment

CMA CGM launches project to decarbonize the French shipping industry

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CMA CGM launches project to decarbonize the French shipping industry. Image: CMA CGM
CMA CGM launches project to decarbonize the French shipping industry. Image: CMA CGM
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The CMA CGM Group has launched a call for projects targeted at startups and businesses working on concrete solutions to step up the pace of decarbonization within all areas of the French shipping industry. Announced at the Assises de l’Économie de la Mer by Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, it is backed by the CMA CGM Fund for Energies.

Unprecedented call for projects opened to all companies operating in the French shipping industry

This call for projects is open to all startups and businesses wanting to step up the pace of decarbonizing the “blue economy” in mainland France and the French overseas territories in the following areas:

  • shipping
  • tourism and cruising
  • fishing and seafood products
  • infrastructure
  • naval and nautical industries
  • renewable energies.

Projects will be selected based on their concrete impact on the decarbonizing of the French shipping industry, the maturity of the projects and the economic feasibility. Some of them may receive shared investments from the public sector and private operators and beneficiate from the assistance of shipping industry experts to give them every chance of success.

In collaboration with the French State Secretariat for the Sea and the various public actors involved in the France 2030 plan, and in accordance with its commitment, the CMA CGM Group opens the platform on January 30, 2023: https://decarbonation.cma-cgm.com

Financed by the CMA CGM Fund for Energies

The Fund for Energies was created by Rodolphe Saadé in September 2022, providing €1.5 billion over five years, and aims to accelerate its energy transition in order to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050. This fund invests to support the development and generation of renewable energies, step up the pace of decarbonizing industrial facilities across all of the Group’s activities, and promote innovative projects and low emission mobility solutions.

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