U.s. Ports Dig Deep To Dock Bigger Ships

12th June 2006, 10:59
lifting anchor in N.Y. the "dahe" steamed towards boston harbour last wednesday.while aalmost three football fields long and holding 3,800 20ft containers,this 12yr old chinese container ship is relatively small compared with todays hi-tech transports,but bostons port cant receive those larger ships,so the DAHE will have to surffice.
as exports economies continue to expand in the far east to suply hungry american consumers,shipping is turning to vessels three times larger than the DAHE.
these new behomth freighters are forcing many U.S. ports to decide whether to spend millions on improvments like deeper harbours and new terminals or watch the next generation of ships pass them by
in a lot of ways,smaller ports have already dried up says MARK LEVINSON,a new york economist who has written a book on the 50yr history of container shipping.
the fact is many small u.s. ports are simply not equiped to handle[the largest shipsin] todays fleet.shipping co.want the fastest,cheapest route,and they'll go to canada or mexico to find it. to compete with other eastern cities,the mass.port authority want to dredge 5-10ftof rock and clay from the bottom to allow larger deeper-floaing ships to enter safely,the estemated cost 100m$
in order to be competitive in the global market place we need a 45-50 foot harbour,one that can serve these new vessels,says boston port director.
while boston waits for the green light from the u.s.army corps of eng,and congress, ports from sacramento,cal. to new orleans are scrambling to find funds for their own plans to dredge and deepen.
the virginia port authority finished a three year 37million$ project last april,turning norfolk into the deepest port on the east coast,at 50ft.
the port of new york-new jersey hopes to join the 50ft club by 2009 as part of a multibillion dollar harbour renovation.
tired of losing manufacturing contracts to neighbouring states with stronger infrastructures,north carolina recently approved construction of a billion dollar port on cape feafr designed for 21st century container ships

12th June 2006, 17:45
The Port of Portland and a few other upriver ports have been lobbying hard for the government to deepen the Columbia River channel from 40 feet to 43 feet for the entire 100 mile passage. Meanwhile, the Port of Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia, sits idle, due to the political clout of the upriver cities. The funding has been approved, so shipping companies can incur costs for one day upriver and one day downriver with a pilot on board, or they can skip the Columbia River altogether, which more are doing. Whatever happened to foresight?