U.S. WEST COAST PORTS GETTING BUSIER WITH ASIAN CARGOS
Last year, ports along the western United States were hit hard by the congestion of ships from Asia and China. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach had as many as 70 ships per day waiting to be unloaded in their harbors.
With cargo volumes expected to double by 2020, experts say that, unless the infrastructure is revamped to handle the influx of increasing cargos, the West Coast could become a nightmare for shipping companies. This year alone, it is expected that cargos will increase more than 14% over last year's volumes.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says that countries like China, South Korea, and Japan need to invest in California's port infrastructure. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) estimates that there will be a 23% increase in demand for labor. Almost 4,500 casual workers have been retained to handle cargos in Southern California this year, but work and investment is needed in rail, terminals, and highways to keep the flow of cargos moving.