Volumes and Capacity Rising at Major Ports

The Port of Boston reported double-digit cargo volume growth and record-breaking gate moves for the period ended September 30. Overall cargo volumes rose 15% to 101,869 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the nine months, up from 87,892 for the same period in 2003. Container tonnage rose 16% to 1,001,516 tons.

The Conley Container Terminal averaged 753 trucks per day, a record. Turnaround time averaged less than 50 minutes, according to Massport, which operates the Port of Boston.

Growth in Asia traffic and terminal enhancements that provide the Conley terminal with a 45-ft. depth at berth, four post-Panamax cranes and modern yard equipment.

Heading south along the Eastern Seaboard, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority reports the new commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Philadelphia District considers the Delaware River Channel Deepening Project a top priority. The project, which was authorized by Congress in 1991, aims to deepen the channel from 40 feet to 45 feet.

International Container Terminal Services’ Brazilian unit, Tecon Suape S.A., recently awarded a contract to Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. Ltd. for new container handling equipment. The order includes two post-Panamax cranes and two rubber-tired gantry cranes. The company claims the new equipment will double crane capacity at its Pernambuco facility.

Amsterdam also reported significant growth in transshipments through its seaports. At 55 million tons in the first nine months, the volume is 16% ahead of the same period in 2003.

Mark van der Horst, alderman for the port, expects 2004 to exceed the record 70.4 million tons handled by the port in 2002.

Roll-on/roll-off cargo increased to 619,000 tons, up 9%. Also during the period, 34,400 TEUs were handled, a 3% increase.

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