Longshore workers at the Port of Long Beach have set a new productivity record for moving cargo in the Americas.
On May 15, two crane operators working the Gudrun Maersk moved 564 containers using a single crane during an eight-hour shift. Set at the Pier T terminal operated by Total Terminals International LLC and supported by the entire longshore crew working that day, the new record breaks the previous one of 534 container moves set in 2014, also at the Port of Long Beach.
Both the number and what it represents are cause for celebration, said TTI Director of Operations Justin French.
“It demonstrates the collaboration between TTI and the ILWU,” French said. “It also demonstrates what the Port of Long Beach has to offer the commercial marketplace with regard to attracting business to terminals that can produce results.”
International Longshore and Warehouse Union vessel planners anticipated the opportunity ahead of the 11,000-TEU vessel’s arrival. Over the four-day call, ILWU gangs discharged and loaded more than 9,300 containers.
The credit for the single-shift record goes to the longshore members of Local 13, as well as the Local 94 walking bosses and the Local 63 marine clerks who coordinated the moves that day. Branko Sindicich and John Gabriellini are the Local 13 crane operators who set the record.
The new record represents an average of 70 container moves per hour, nearly triple the West Coast average of 25 container moves per hour. It is also the latest breakthrough following a series of TTI “firsts” in the Americas:
- Most container lifts performed during a single eight-hour shift on an entire vessel: 2,354 moves (May 5, 2016)
- First terminal to deploy nine super post-Panamax cranes to work a single ship (October 2015)
- First terminal to deploy 10 super post-Panamax cranes to work a single ship (December 2015)
The trend is particularly good news for the 385-acre terminal that made headlines in 2016 when Hanjin Shipping Co., the former owner with a majority stake in TTI, filed for bankruptcy. Hanjin’s collapse led to Terminal Investment Limited acquiring Hanjin’s stake in TTI.
If anything, new executive leadership under CEO Graham Scott fueled the terminal’s momentum, French said. “The genesis of our progress was forged at that time. He has empowered all TTI managers to think outside the box, use their own initiative and foster better relations with the ILWU.”
Based on volume, TTI operates the busiest terminal in the San Pedro Bay port complex, home to the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 busiest container ports. In 2017, the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports moved more than 16.8 million TEUS combined, ranking the complex – if viewed as one port – as the world’s ninth-busiest.
Given all the changes and increased volume, the new record is even sweeter for the team at TTI, French said. “As one of the busiest terminals in the Americas, it’s exciting to be an industry leader and set new benchmarks.”