East Coast Ports

East Coast Ports

Dredging: how deep are U.S. ports?

Although many U.S. East Coast ports are scrambling to deepen their harbors and expand infrastructure to handle the much-bigger ships from the Far East that will start calling after the Panama Canal opens its new locks, the ports are already handling the post-Panamax ships that are coming from India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East via the Suez Canal. Call it a rehearsal for the 2015 opening night.

Baltimore and Norfolk, which already have the 50 feet of water needed to accommodate the big ships, are sitting pretty, but they are not resting on their laurels. Norfolk is adding new train services, and Baltimore plans a new double-stack intermodal rail terminal. Five other ports, including Charleston, Jacksonville, Miami, New York/New Jersey and Savannah, got a leg up when the Obama Administration fast-tracked the federal approval process for their deepening and expansion projects, which could pave the way for some of them to finish by 2015.

Although Asian cargo now provides the majority of the throughput at many ports, the trans-Atlantic trade with Europe, like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps going and going, underpinning those ports’ business.

East Coast ports maintained their lead in containerized exports in the first nine months of 2012 and increased their share of import and export markets.

Special Coverage

Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The volume of all containers handled by U.S. and Canadian East Coast ports in the fourth quarter of 2013 increased by 4.4 percent year-over-year to 4.2 million 20-foot-equivalent units, according to port-published data collected by the JOC.

News & Analysis

Aerial view of portion of Port Canaveral
30 Jul 2014
A U.S. House Republican has asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to review whether the granting of a 35-year container terminal concession at Florida’s Port Canaveral to United Arab Emirates-based port operator Gulftainer will impact national security.
29 Jul 2014
A long-awaited tunnel linking Miami’s port to the interstate highway system will be open for business at the beginning of next week, after months of delays.
Port of Savannah
29 Jul 2014
The Port of Savannah broke the three-million-TEU mark for the first time in its recently ended fiscal year, a new record for the port.
26 Jul 2014
Drayage drivers serving New York-New Jersey port terminals said at a weekend forum that they need quick action to reduce turn times that require them to sit in long queues for several hours a day without full compensation.
APM Terminals, Port of Virginia
22 Jul 2014
An infrastructure investment group and a British pension fund have agreed to acquire APM Terminals’ semi-automated container terminal at the Port of Virginia for an undisclosed price.
21 Jul 2014
Container volume at the Port of Charleston increased 8 percent in the South Carolina Ports Authority’s jus

Commentary

Combine several hundred longshoremen on a work break with energetic speakers using microphones they don’t need, and you get a lot of noise.

Video

Global Terminal is undergoing major expansion while continuing cargo operations. Guy Buzzoni, vice president of infrastructure development at Global Terminal, discusses the challenges -- and explains why he's watching the weather.
The Port of Virginia is aiming to boost container traffic by capitalizing on its post-Panamax draft, tapping improved intermodal service, increasing customer service and developing distribution centers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could begin dredging the Savannah River navigation channel to a target depth of 47 feet as soon as the second half of this year, said Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority.