Port of Long Beach expects its 2017 cargo volumes to leap off the back of the change of ownership of Hanjin’s Pier T terminal and after winning new SM Line’s transpacific service.
MSC subsidiary Terminal Investment Ltd (TIL) bought out bankrupt Hanjin’s stake in the long-term lease to operate Pier T terminal at the port. As soon as it took over Hanjin’s stake, it sold 20 per cent to 2M’s partner Hyundai Merchant Marine.
Long Beach expects its container cargo volumes to jump by 7 per cent for the full year 2017 compared to last year on the back of the new Pier T terminal ownership, SM Line and the new alliance structure.
Long Beach chief commercial officer Noel Hacegaba told CST in an exclusive interview: “Because of this change the terminal is predominantly 2M, and we expect this to benefit the terminal.”
SM Line – born out of Hanjin – will start calling at the terminal this month. The carrier has an initial six services covering North East Asia-South East Asia, Far East-India and transpacific routes. Its total capacity will exceed 40,000 teu by the end of April, making it the fastest growing new carrier in container shipping history, says Alphaliner.
Furthermore, TIL is in the process of raising cranes to accommodate bigger ships; “When TIL assumed Hanjin’s ownership stake, we negotiated an agreement to raise two cranes to accommodate 20,000 teu ships, which will be ready by 2020,” Mr Hacegaba said.
“Between the new alliance structure, new terminal ownership change and new services we are feeling optimistic about calendar year 2017.”