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CSX Corp. Message Board

  • save_n_investte save_n_investte Jan 1, 2014 3:07 PM Flag

    Panama Canal Expansion Completed in only 15 Months!

    Invest in Eastern RR's now, while the time is ripe!

    Once the widened canal is navigable, many megaships will no longer need the land bridge. Instead, they will pass through the canal’s wider locks to offload their cargo at a Gulf or East coast port, such as Houston, New Orleans or New York.

    “Trade will shift Instead of coming to the West Coast, it will go directly to the East Coast and on to Europe.

    These eastern ports are hoping the canal expansion will signal the end of an era — the end of the so-called West Coast Empire. Ports such as Savannah, Ga., New Orleans, Houston and New York City are preparing for this change by pouring billions of dollars over the next few years into infrastructure development, while the ports of the West Coast walk a fine line between confidence and caution in the face of what may be the single largest threat to their livelihoods ever. This will make things more competitive.

    The stakes

    Despite experiencing the worst recession in modern times, U.S. trade has not only recovered since 2008, but has reached record levels.

    This does not appear to be an aberration. Even the most conservative of analytical forecasts show trade activity — and therefore port activity — booming in the near future. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration expects port container traffic to double by 2020 and triple by 2030. Ports are the heart of logistics.


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    • You want to look at today's paper; there is quite a dispute going on about people getting paid.
      A Panamax ship will hold 4,400 containers, the new locks will allow ships that will hold 12,800 containers.

    • You are just a little late. It adds almost 10 days of transit time to go through the Panama Canal rather than go to a west coast port and then move from there.

      Most shippers didn't like being entirely dependent on the west coast ports and their labor unions, so they began to shift some of their traffic to East Coast ports. This has already happened to a large extent.

      Besides, manufacturing is shifting from the Far East (China) to Southeast Asia (Vietnam, etc.) and the Suez Canal is a viable route from Southeast Asia which can already handle the biggest ships.

      It is true, if you are a East Coast port and you can't handle the biggest ships you eventually will lose out on business, but that doesn't mean that overall traffic will grow. The steamship lines will just run fewer, but bigger ships to save on fuel.

      Sentiment: Sell

    • Continuation:

      it’s not hard to understand why port authorities and their respective boards are scrambling to prepare for the potential economic windfall from the Panama Canal expansion.

      But the amount of cargo and the ports to which it will be shipped pose multimillion-dollar questions — and they’re questions causing a flurry of speculation among ports and billions of dollars in spending.

      The first line of “Shifting Trade Routes” — an internal Port of New Orleans PowerPoint presentation from Jan. 19, 2012 — is a simple, declarative statement:

      “Know that Panama Canal will have an impact.”

      New Orleans, along with other ports on the Gulf Coast and East Coast, is heavily invested in what’s coming. With more than $10 billion in development projects planned ahead of the Panama Canal expansion, ports from Houston to Boston are busy lobbying Congress for federal funding while digging deep into their own pockets.

      It makes perfect sense for the ports on the Gulf Coast and East Coast ports seize this opportunity to secure federal dollars. It makes even more sense when the ports’ district-level data is analyzed.

      An analysis of Foreign Trade Division data shows that between 2010 and 2011, 13 of the top 20 fastest-growing port districts in terms of the overall value of imports were either a Gulf Coast or East Coast district. Not one of the remaining seven is located on the West Coast. Similarly, 12 out of the top 20 fast-growing districts in terms of overall value of exports during that same time period were either a Gulf or East coast district. Only one of the remaining eight districts was on the West Coast; that was Seattle.


      • 1 Reply to save_n_investte
      • The Panama Canal Authority, noticing the potential for increased traffic from Asia, has entered into 22 separate formal alliances with ports along the Gulf Coast and the East Coast.

        Other factors appear to favor the shift to the east as well. These include greater land availability for retailers looking for warehouse space and less contentious labor organizations like the International Longshore and Warehouse Union — a West Coast union that, after bringing West Coast shipping to a halt in 2002 over a labor dispute, is widely cited as the reason importers have shifted to a “four-corner strategy,” according to Aaron Hunt, the director of corporate relations and media for Union Pacific Railroad.

        East Coast problems

        The process of dredging is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, and one that East Coast and Gulf Coast ports must deal with if they hope to accommodate the newer, massive ships that will pass through the Panama Canal.


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