More Ocean Shipping Alliances Put Ports on Shaky Ground

With analysts estimating that oceangoing shippers could lose up to $10 billion worldwide this year, the industry that made globalization possible is sinking into crisis.

Long Beach Press-Telegram
Long Beach Port 546e3852d724d

It seems like not a day goes by without an announcement of a new shipping alliance or collaboration between ocean carriers. This article from the Long Beach Press-Telegram takes a deeper look at how the turmoil in today's shipping industry has put ports in the United States into uncertain times.

“The industry is consolidating for survival,” said Michelle Grubbs, vice president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, a trade group. “They are losing so much money. They have to reduce their costs. It’s a very big global change, I think you are going to see shifts everywhere.”

The crisis poses a quandary for ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The giant cargo hubs operate like landlords, wooing shippers to sign leases to unload goods at their massive terminals. The ports shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to stay current and competitive, building cranes, improving wharves and otherwise maintaining an aging infrastructure.

But a marketplace in disarray could challenge this economic model.

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