Big Ships Pose Challenge for U.S. Ports

Credit analysts aren't sure what the impact of the new generation if huge cargo ships will be on U.S. ports, but industry leaders and engineers are sounding the call for billions of dollars in additional investment in America's marine infrastructure.

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Comments (1)
Estimates for savings vs. Savannah Rive dredging, which only gets to 46-47 ft due to environmental concerns last we checked ran about $44 million per mile for approximately 10 miles of channel or +/- $440 million if the Jasper Ocean Terminal is built, as planned, at the mouth of theSavannah River. It can go to 50 ft. and there is a South carolina/Georgia bi-state commission that is supposed to build it. In 2004, $400 MM of private money was put on the table to defray the cost of construction. In the interim, both sates have dragged their feet and dragged each other into court while pledging to proceed sometime in the next decade. It would be interesting to see if the original private sources are still there. Our january 2005 feasibility study shows there is plenty of potential for a self supporting port enterprise at the mouth of the Savannah River, whoever does the financing and the building. Only in a zero-sum world is this bad news. Both the Port of Savannah and the Port of Charleston can and will survive and flourish, but they must do so on their own strengths and merits. Trying to compete for the big ships by shutting down their own promising joint enterprise (Jasper) is not an effective plan for competing with Norfolk, which your article correctly notes has already been dredged to 50 ft. in one direction and 55 ft. in the other. We support dredging and other improvements four both Charleston and Savannah, but, in an increasingly-competitive world, it is essential to recognize where the best opportunities lie.

Best regards,
John Canney
617 688-9336
Posted by t3240m353 | Monday, September 24 2012 at 5:52PM ET
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