Bunkering in the port of Los Angeles
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, situated along the vibrant southern California coastline, are often referred to as the “Twin Ports”, collectively form the largest port complex in North America. With their strategic location, advanced facilities and commitment to sustainability, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have emerged as significant destinations for bunkering of vessels that traverse the Pacific Ocean.
They offer a myriad of berths, terminals and wharves dedicated to various cargo operations and bunkering. Los Angeles is the busiest container port in the US, and Long Beach is the second busiest. Los Angeles alone handled 10.66 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers in 2022, which was about 20% of all the incoming containers to the country.
Container ships are among the biggest bunker fuel-consuming vessel types in the ports. Container ships ranging from smaller feeder vessels to ultra-large container ships visit the ports to load and unload containers. The ports also cater to a wide range of other vessel types, including oil tankers, bulk carriers, RoRo vessel and cruise ships.
Bunker fuel availability and lead times can vary greatly depending on demand and bunker delivery schedules, which means that longer lead times are generally recommended to ensure full coverage from suppliers.
Los Angeles and Long Beach are located in an Emission Control Area (ECA) where there is a 0.10% sulphur cap for the fuels consumed by vessels. This is reflected in the fuel grades on offer, with 5-6 physical bunker suppliers offering ECA-compliant LSMGO. That compares to 3-4 suppliers offering VLSFO and only one supplier offering HSFO in each of the ports.
Weather conditions tend to be stable throughout the year in the Twin Ports.