A report released by Moody’s Investor Service has stated that large changes in cargo from the US West Coast (USWC) to the US East Coast (USEC) as result associated with the conclusion for the Panama Canal expansion in 2016 are unlikely.
Neil Davidson, Senior Port and Terminal Analyst at Drewry recently said that more container lines have been utilizing the USEC route via the Suez Canal as result of more capacity along this trade lane.
Additionally there is the matter regarding the current return of strike-action at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, that could potentially rekindle huge congestion ensuing in container movements being diverted to ports across the USEC that can handle the brand new age of mega-ships.
Myra Shankin, Analyst and Report Author at Moody’s, said: "In many cases, deliveries from Asia to USWC ports will arrive at inland destinations faster than via an all-water path to the East Coast through the Panama Canal.
“Additionally, ports' long-term contracts contain minimum yearly guarantees, which will protect the USWC ports from swings in cargo volume and profits. However, on-going labour and operational difficulties at USWC ports could move cargo traffic if not resolved."
Economic benefits could be obtained by local governments that are situated closely to USEC. Those gaining will be ports with water depths deep sufficient to support the bigger ships sufficient reason for the best intermodal transport connections.
Coby Kutcher, Report Author and Analyst at Moody's, said: "Even an uptick that is muted cargo volume from Panama Canal task will provide at least some increased revenue for local governments. Notable municipal 'winners' are in the Norfolk, Virginia and Savannah, Georgia regions.”