California is Frightened About Panama Canal Expansion and Shift of Their Business to Eastern RRs!
And they have a right to be scared. The Canal Expansion is due to be completed in two years and the expansion definitely means more business for Eastern Railroads. Here is an article that looks at California's concern about the expansion:
Panama Canal expansion impact on ports discussed at California Senate panel session:
By Brian Sumers Staff Writer
Posted: 02/22/2013 07:13:42 PM PST
While it's too early to know how global trade routes will be affected by the Panama Canal expansion scheduled for competition by 2015, California ports and state leaders should prepare for increased competition, business and labor experts told a state Senate panel on Friday.
Widening the canal will allow even larger ships leaving Asia to sail directly to the East Coast without stopping in California. Because of concerns that the project could negatively affect the state's economy, Sen. Curren D. Price, Jr. convened a hearing of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development at Los Angeles City Hall.
"What if the biggest of the ships go through the Panama Canal?" the Los Angeles Democrat asked. "What does that mean for us? We need to hear what we are up against, who might be impacted and what we can do on the state level to be prepared."
The panelists generally commended Price for considering the issue, and said California must ensure the state's ports remain competitive - especially the San Pedro Bay complex of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's two busiest ports. But they cautioned the global shipping industry is complex, with many different factors affecting what goods are shipped where.
Panelists said containers most likely to be shipped through the new Panama Canal would be filled with so-called discretionary cargo - material bound for U.S. markets outside the Southwest. For now, much of that cargo flows through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and then onto rail cars traveling eastward. In the future, it is possible some of that cargo could flow through the canal and then be unloaded from ships in eastern ports like Houston, Texas and Savannah, Ga.
"This is an incredibly complex matter," O'Connell said. "We can anticipate some diversion but the true extent of it? It's still up in the air. Ferdinando Guerra, associate economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., told the committee the state also must prepare for increased competition from ports in Canada and Mexico, in addition to East Coast ports. Guerra said. "This is a very complex issue that involves many critical related factors that will ultimately determine how much of our market share is lost. It's not a matter of if. It's a question of how much market share we will lose."
According to materials distributed at the hearing, 40 percent of total containerized cargo entering the United States arrives at California ports. Less
I believe that it is obvious that eastern railroads and their shareholders stand to gain a lot upon the completion of the Panama Canal expansion. A lot of new traffic/profit for the rr's and for the shareholders! Anyone who can't see this is blind.