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

APL at Port of Los Angeles
12 Sep 2014
When APL earlier this week informed its importer customers that the APL Norway was being diverted from Los Angeles “due to congestion at Global Gateway South,” it caused all importers and exporters that use the Los Angeles-Long Beach gateway to cringe. Would other terminals in the nation’s largest port complex plunge into another round of congestion?
Port of Savannah
13 Aug 2014
The Georgia Ports Authority reached an all-time high in container trade in July, surpassing even pre-recession levels.
12 Aug 2014
Work is starting on implementation of an industry task force’s recommendations on ways to improve performance at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Hanjin Milano in Boston
11 Aug 2014
Sunny weather and the beginning of the busy shipping season aren’t the only reasons the Port of Boston is excited about the month of August.
05 Aug 2014
With the pending expansion to the Port of Savannah of a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program, three southern U.S. ports will be able to receive South American blueberries and grapes.
04 Aug 2014
Port Everglades officials say they expect the port’s container volume to increase by as much as 47,500 20-foot-equivalent-unit containers annually following the recent transfer of two of King Ocean’s eastern Caribbean services from PortMiami.

Commentary

During what some are calling planned protracted ILWU negotiations, shippers who fear disruption on the West Coast are making U.S. East Coast ports a priority, fearing disruptions on the West Coast. What are the short- and long-term effects of the switch?

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.