Tuesday, April 20 2010 @ 11:14 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: Practically every port on the Atlantic side of the US is licking its chops at the prospect of seeing additional ships and tonnage thanks to the expansion of the Panama Canal, mostly traffic from Asia that currently comes into the US through the existing major West coast ports. Practically every East coast port is looking at some kinds of plans for expansion, improving facilities, adding more cranes, and being able to handle larger ships with more cargo and containers. These port facilities have mostly evolved over the past 100 years to handle the ships they see - the smaller Panamax ships that could pass through the Panama Canal. Now, all bets are off and there is a sort of gold rush developing - competition between these ports to see which one will be in the best position to receive the lion's share of the new traffic. On the backside of the port will be expansions of trucking and rail facilities, all because there's new money to be made. Remember this is mostly a zero sum game - where one port facility gains another West coast facility will be cutting back and laying people off. The expanded Panama Canal doesn't necessarily mean there will be more trade and ship traffic, it will just change where those ships will dock in the US.