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.

News & Analysis

23 May 2015
The West Coast contract agreement that was ratified Friday by the membership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, while applauded by cargo interests, carriers, ports and truckers, and rightfully so, will have a limited impact on West Coast port productivity and labor relations.
06 Jan 2014
Armed with two new container services that launched last year and a new rail ramp opening later this year, Port Everglades is poised for a year of growth in its container throughput.
New York area inclement weather warnings
02 Jan 2014
Container terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey will be closed Friday because of a blizzard that’s forecast to hit the region with six to nine inches of snow and winds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Majestic Maersk in Copenhagen
27 Dec 2013
What follows are our picks for the top 10 stories of 2013. Do you agree? Disagree?
19 Dec 2013
International Longshoremen’s Association leader Harold Daggett said ILA members are disappointed in a judge’s refusal to block Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor changes in hiring practices, but that union members won’t halt work in protest.
19 Dec 2013
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal district judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction aimed at blocking new hiring rules imposed by the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor. The new rules are aimed at increasing diversity in the unionized workforce at repair facilities operated by the Metropolitan Marine Management Contractors in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Commentary

In the past several months, the Port of New York and New Jersey and other ports along the East Coast have experienced record cargo growth due primarily to containers routed here from the West Coast. This growth has led to challenges in how we handle the increased volume on the land side, which we are working on collaboratively with various stakeholders including terminal operators, trucking companies, chassis providers and public safety to address.

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.