Saturday, June 09, 2012

This container ship is so massive it can carry 12,000 containers. Think of this vessel as a floating "empire state building" but is this a good thing?

A container ship sailed into Los Angeles like they do everyday but there was something different about this one. To begin with, The MSC Altair is 1/2-a football field wide and it is nearly 1/4-mile long. This container ship is so massive it can carry 12,000 containers. Think of this vessel as a floating "empire state building" but is this a good thing?

After doing some quick calculations I postulated that if each container was mounted on a 18-wheeler truck and presuming that each truck would take up 50-yards-each worth of space on a 5-lane freeway; (34-yards for the length of the truck and 16-yards for the distance between each vehicle), the traffic jam would be 68-miles long.

From the Long Beach Press Telegram:
Executive Director Christopher Lytle, adding that his port will start seeing more mega ships call to Long Beach on a regular basis in the coming months as the busier season approaches. "It's not just that they're bigger ships; the fact of the matter is these vessels are much more efficient on a per-container basis," Lytle said. The benefits, Lytle said, include fuel efficiency, and they are cleaner burning and have less harmful pollutants or air emissions. 

The average carrier can hold a staggering 8,000 containers but this mega-carrier use less energy; (so I am told), than one-and a half carriers doing the same workload. As much as 20% so the environmental impact is well reduced.

I am thrilled that Long Beach is still currently a hub for international shipping despite Republican measures to build a "NAFTA superhighway" through the middle of the United States. Yes, Republicans are backing a "super-highway" paid with private industry funds that would begin at the Port of Lazaro Cardenas located in Mexico  and move up through to Texas and cutting all the way through the country into Canada thereby bypassing American west coast ports.

However, Los Angeles is fighting back spending $2-million a day to make the port faster, better, and easier. These mega-carriers could cut traffic by 33% thereby making Long Beach a destination far more attractive than the Port of Lazaro Cardenas thereby saving American jobs.


Anonymous said...

Did you know that every commercial port in the nation has its own pilots? I had no idea until I read an article in the LA Times today.

Harbor pilots take over for ocean captains unfamiliar with the currents and hazards that make every harbor unique. The Pilot Service route in Long Beach is the four to eight miles between a sea buoy outside the harbor breakwater and the berths inside the port.

Couldn't imagine trying to park one of these massive ships. What a relief for the Captains.

The USS Iowa is in the port of LA, as well, very impressive.

Tony Austin said...

I learned that when a tanker ran aground in San Francisco 2-years ago.

I can't even imagine parking a sailboat let alone a "building" have the size of the former World Trade Center.

I would like to see the Iowa. :-)

Mary said...

What does your spite for Republicans have to do with swimming? By the way, I'm an independent.

Tony Austin said...

My "spite" towards Republicans is that they want to build a road though the middle of America so as to bypass California ports by using Mexican ones which goes right along with their philosophy that exporting jobs outside of this country with no duty or tariffs for the stuff coming back in is somehow good for this country.

My "spite" for Democrats is that "buy" constituencies with tax dollars and these constituencies include immigrants, public unions, and those voters on fixed incomes. I don't like Bill Clinton, I feel "date raped" by Barrack Obama.

Both parties also, when in power, selectively enforce laws, hook-up their friends and 90% of them are paid to bought to vote right or paid to vote left. When you find that rare 10% who can't be bought, well, they can be leased to vote either way.

I am conservative when times of plenty, I am liberal when people are hurting.

This is the last I will speak of my political views unless by private email