Asian container flow to the East Coast, Panama canal width and Long Beach

An article in the Economist (Jan 28, 2012) describes the impact of increased Panama Canal width to handle large ships and the consequent container shipments to the East Coast being sent directly to East Coast ports, rather than being shipped to Long Beach or Los Angeles and sent by train to the east Coast. But even though shipments directly to the East Coast will be cheaper, some Long Beach authorities claim the longer more expensive shipments through Long Beach can be faster by one week.  Should time sensitive flows from Asia to the US continue to take the more expensive faster routs through Long Beach ? Should unloading capacity and rate be speeded up in the East Coast to make it cheaper and faster to ship Asian containers directly ? Will Californian ports, whose shipments by truck from the port to the rail yard create the bulk of the ports’s  air pollution, be better off with a lower shipment volume and lower pollution levels ?

About aviyer2010

This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Asian container flow to the East Coast, Panama canal width and Long Beach

  1. I don’t think lead time is much of an issue with products from Asia. Theoretically high mean, low variance products are produced over seas. The total lead time may be down one week, but compared to what? If design-to-store lead time is 12 weeks on a high mean, low variance product, then shaving a week is probably not going to affect your sales projections.

    If you want to produce something in Asia, you’re probably doing it to simply reduce costs. Find the cheapest shipping route.

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