Despite the fact that California ports have lost market share to ports Houston, New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah, "this is partly a function of the increased location of manufacturing in southern states by global manufacturers", Mr O'Connell said.
"In the long-term, container volumes are going to continue to rise at California ports, especially with the arrival of the mega ships," he told the American Journal of Transportation.
Houston, Mr O'Connell noted, has seen a major increase in container volumes as a result of increased manufacturing and the Panama Canal widening.
Nevertheless, he warned that "ports are at the mercy of the ocean carriers", and "these ocean carrier have to utilise more of the 18,000+ TEU containerships that they have been ordering, then more and more of these ships are going to find themselves on the Asia to west coast trade".
This view is shared by Alphaliner's Tan Hua Joo speaking at this year's Trans Pacific Maritime (TPM) conference in Long Beach. Mr Tan said that a flood of new 18,000+ container ships are being delivered in 2017 and 2018 and that this will flood the international container market with new excess capacity.