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S Francisco Bay Area ports to see long-term cargo growth

LONG-TERM cargo growth is expected to be achieved in the containerised cargo, ro/ro vehicle cargo and import dry bulk cargo sectors at sea ports located in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a draft 30-year forecast produced by Tioga Group and Hackett Associates on behalf of the San Francisco Conservation and Development Commission

S Francisco Bay Area ports to see long-term cargo growth

LONG-TERM cargo growth is expected to be achieved in the containerised cargo, ro/ro vehicle cargo and import dry bulk cargo sectors at sea ports located in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a draft 30-year forecast produced by Tioga Group and Hackett Associates on behalf of the San Francisco Conservation and Development Commission

29 July 2019 - 19:00

LONG-TERM cargo growth is expected to be achieved in the containerised cargo, ro/ro vehicle cargo and import dry bulk cargo sectors at sea ports located in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a draft 30-year forecast produced by Tioga Group and Hackett Associates on behalf of the San Francisco Conservation and Development Commission.

The 199-page report, 2019-2050 Bay Area Seaport Forecast, looked at the outlook for public and private ports in San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Benecia and Redwood City.



It pointed out that cargo volumes passing through these ports 'will be determined by economic activity in the Bay Area itself and in the broader central and northern California market,' reported American Shipper.



The report said a variety of economic forecasts 'share a common view that the pace of growth in California over the coming three to five years will be at a reduced pace and that the west coast in general will grow at a slower pace than the rest of the nation.'



Long-term forecasts 'tend to focus on population and depict steady growth over the long term, but at a slower rate than previously seen in California,' it said.



The region's largest port, Oakland, last year handled 2,546,351 TEU, comprising 2,356,908 TEU to and from international destinations and 189,443 TEU to and from Hawaii and Guam.



The report makes projections through to 2050 assuming total container throughput increases at compound annual growth rates of 1.3 per cent, 2.2 per cent and 3.2 per cent. Based on these three different growth rates, total volumes in 2050 would reach 3.86 million TEU, 5.19 million TEU and 7.04 million TEU, respectively.



If the port of Oakland attracts 'first call services' in which it becomes the first North American call of a transpacific string, import volumes could rise. Currently, inbound services from Asia usually call the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before Oakland or call ports in the Pacific Northwest such as Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Seattle and Tacoma.



'An event such as the ramp-up of Tesla production is likely to markedly increase demand for first call delivery of high-priority imports - auto parts in Tesla's case,' the report noted, adding that 'discussions with port of Oakland officials suggested that a first call service would increase import volumes by 50,000 to 100,000 TEU.'



The report said container terminals in Oakland will likely handle increased volumes first by expanding into areas adjacent to existing container terminals: 20 acres at berths 33-34 adjacent to the Ben E Nutter terminal; 39 acres at the 'roundhouse property' adjacent to the Matson terminal; and 150 acres at the outer harbour terminal, previously occupied by a Ports America-TIL joint venture.



In addition to expansion of terminals onto adjacent properties, the port of Oakland has the ability to grow 'through investment in automation or equivalent productivity improvements,' the report said.


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