140620 APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles (2)

Vessel Mgr. Pier 400 LSA with a specially painted vehicle to promote safety.

Next week the largest shipping conference, the annual Transpacific Maritime (TPM) conference takes place in Long Beach. Organised by the Journal of Commerce and cannily positioned on the calendar just as shippers and carriers are sitting down to begin negotiating their annual contracts on the transpacific trade, the event has also become a focal point for the industry to discuss – and some of these conversations verge on the thoroughly confrontational – the widespread challenges facing it.

As a preview of sorts for this year’s TPM, this week’s Loadstar Podcast features an in-depth interview with Stephen Trombley, managing director APM Terminal’s Pier 400 facility in Los Angeles. As the largest single box terminal on the US west coast, Pier 400 is something of a bellwether for the transpacific shipping industry. Mr Trombley candidly reveals how the terminal is setting about the challenges of handling ultra-large container vessels; how it is working with other stakeholders to improve the follow of boxes into the hinterland; and the thorny issue of automation – how it is increasingly essential to safety, but also unnerves dock labour…

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