Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, has noted that US ports that are not investing heavily in infrastructure to accommodate the next generation of mega-ships are risking closure if they don’t expand, according to the Journal of Commerce.
PTI previously reported that a number of US ports are already investing billions in infrastructure to accommodate the fresh wave of containers that are anticipated to come through after the Panama Canal expansion is completed.
Many of these ports are already some of the leading ports in the US and are coping well with the increase in volumes after some early struggles. This was evident recently after Long Beach recorded record volumes for the second consecutive month in a row after facing crippling congestion just months prior.
Newsome said: “If you are not a top 10 container port, you will not stay in the container business in the future. This is a big-ship industry. Some ports can’t invest in big-ship terminals, so we’ll get some of that cargo.”
Charleston is already upsizing, it is currently investing more than US$500 million to deepen its facilities to a depth of 15.8 metres, with a forecasted completion date set for 2019.
The expanded Panama Canal will be able to facilitate vessels of up to 14,000 TEU, with a major increase in cargo flows expected on the back of the new canal lock’s opening date in 2016.