There is an amazing bit in Alan Sekula‘s magisterial Forgotten Space where Angelenos of Latino origin sit at an outdoor space drinking beers and watching enormous container ships glide towards the unloading docks and cranes. Ever since watching that, I really wanted to go visit the ports and on my trip to Los Angeles I did.
LA/LB have the highest capacity of any port in the US (and therefore in the Western Hemisphere) but that means that it is still way down the list at No. 16 with 12 ports in Asia (including Jabal Ali) and 3 in Europe preceding it.
I wish I had been able to grab a picture of the Vincent Thomas Bridge which is a bit of the technological sublime – this amazing span of green metal soaring above canals and containers and cranes (and palm trees). As it was, mediocre enchiladas and fajitas were followed by a walk alongside the canal and although we couldn’t get very far, we did see the warship-museum, the cruiseship, and a container-ship unloading:
The ship was a Hatsu ship, Hatsu Courage I think, which is German-flagged and owned by the Taiwanese Evergreen Line (whose green containers should be familiar to people and whose first lines, Wikipedia informs me, were to the Middle East).
I think it was rather appropriate that both a cruiseship and a warship stood end to end there, across the canal from the containership. The cruiseship was nowhere as HUGE as some of the ships I had seen in the port of Barcelona which towered high -around 10 floors or so- above the water.
The warship-museum and the cruiseship were much easier to get to on foot than the containership, incidentally.