NICARAGUA LANDBRIDGE ARTICLE WAS INTERESTING FOR WHAT WASN'T THERE

NICARAGUA LANDBRIDGE ARTICLE WAS INTERESTING FOR WHAT WASN'T THERE

The recent article landbridge proposed for Nicaragua (''Landbridge plan attracts skeptics,'' April 24, Page 1) is interesting because of what it leaves out.

It omits the statistics on post-Panamax newbuildings, the fastest growing segment of the container-ship building industry; it omits the growing consensus of the efficiencies of a global belt line at or near the equator with transshipment nodes; it omits the present congestion and queuing at the Panama Canal and the obvious time/money relationship; it omits any discussion relating to cargo that can be transshipped such as containers to ease the situation there, among other items.A balanced article could easily have had learned opinions on all these points, which Don Bosco of Canal Interoceanio de Nicaragua will explore in the forthcoming feasibility study. At that point in time, some two years hence, the investment community can determine for itself if a $400-per-box cost for the lift/shift/lift is worth it, factoring in all points raised above.

The concept is under consideration in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia, but CINN in Nicaragua has the best grades and the least environmental problems and is the most advanced in its planning.

The next decade will see a number of bridges built following the success of the one in Nicaragua. We are naturally proud of our association with this project.

JOHN JAY

President

Novaport International

Consultants Ltd.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada

TACOMA, SEATTLE PORTS SKEPTICAL ABOUT WISDOM OF FURTHER RAIL MERGERS

I read with interest your recent wake-up call to the railroads, ports, and labor about the threat of increased interest in all-water routes because of service problems on the West Coast (''An unmistakable message to West Coast ports,'' opinion column, April 7, Page 6).

You raise genuine issues that need to be addressed. Particularly in regard to rail service, these are some of the reasons why the ports of Tacoma and Seattle have been skeptical about the wisdom of additional rail mergers at this time.

We have communicated these trends to our partners in the rail industry with the sincere hope that it will stimulate a greater commitment among all of us to make the land-bridge work.

Thanks for shining a light on this.

ANDREA RINIKER

Executive director

Port of Tacoma, Wash.

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