Building on recent gains in ocean cargo volumes moving through the Port of Boston, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) reported a continued surge in cargo during the first four months of 2003.
At Conley Container Terminal in South Boston, cargo volumes increased 24% during the first four months of 2003 compared to the same period in 2002. Total containers handled in the Port of Boston during this time rose to 51,248 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) from 41,316 TEUs. Imports showed the most significant gain, jumping 28% to 23,884 TEUs from January through April of 2003 as compared to 18,635 TEUs during the same period in 2002. Export cargo rose nearly 11%, climbing to 13,881 TEUs from 12,518 TEUs.
The Port of Boston offers direct weekly service from seven of the world's top steamship lines. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) along with its partners CMA-CGM and Atlantic Container Lines call Boston as the first East Coast port on their weekly service from ports in Europe. New England importers and exporters are served with direct weekly service between Asia and Boston through a vessel-sharing consortium operated by China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), "K"Line, Yang Ming Line and Hanjin Shipping Company (C-K-Y-H). "Growth in Boston's container volume is largely attributable to the expanded ocean carrier service now calling in the Port of Boston. Despite a down economy, Massport has been able to achieve its goal of providing importers and exporters with increasingly more options," said Mike Leone, Massport's Port Director. "With Mediterranean Shipping Company expanding their European service to include ports in the Mediterranean, as well as the addition of a Far East service from the C-K-Y-H partnership, Boston has direct access with our biggest trading partners." Also contributing greatly to the recent success is the St. Pierre et Miquelon (SPM) Container Line, a weekly feeder vessel operating between Halifax and Boston, and Columbia Coastal Transport which provides a weekly barge service between Boston and New York. Carriers using the SPM feeder between Halifax and the Port of Boston are: Hapag Lloyd, Maersk Sealand, OOCL, P&O Nedlloyd, COSCO and Zim Lines. Carriers using Columbia Coastal Transport are: Alivanca Line, Chilean Line, Columbus Line, COSCO, Evergreen Line, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Lloyd Triestino, Lykes Lines, Maersk Sealand, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Montemar, Safbank, Yang Ming Line and Zim Lines. In addition to the expanded ocean carrier services, changes to the infrastructure of Conley Container Terminal have had a tremendous impact on operations allowing for the efficient movement of cargo from the ships to the consignee. Deepened waters, modern handling equipment and a new computerized gate and yard system have contributed to overall improvements in labor productivity and cargo volumes. The Port of Boston has experienced regular increases in container volume over the past 16 months. In 2002, overall container volume rose 10%, climbing to 145,474 TEUs from 132,665 in 2001. The Port of Boston consistently ranks as one of the top 25 U.S. ports when ranking by container throughput.