A Place in the Sun (A reprint of Vol. XXV, Art. 8 – Four years ago today).
Some day – if what the prognosticators tell us is correct – the up-dated and widened Panama Canal will be pouring very large container ships northward toward the major container ports along our East Coast, and those container ports right now are struggling to gain favor with the owners of those mega-ships.
Each of those ports are funding dredging projects and committing large sums to port expansion in highly publicized efforts to take the lead in this race for the heady post-recession profits that they’re so certain will be forthcoming. But they’d better be right because those “large sums” that are being committed are taxpayers’ dollars.
But all the port directors can’t be right. Only one of them will have an advantage over the others because of costs, and all things being equal – and because time is money – the port closest to the Canal will be the port chosen by the shipowners. So it looks as though the Port of Jacksonville will be the port of choice.
Maybe. What if one of the ports to the north like, say, one of the ports in Hampton Roads, came up with a new type of container yard? A new patented design that would guarantee the exclusion of competition from nearby ports. What if such a design also guaranteed:
– lowered costs and higher profits for shipping lines,
– quicker and more efficient servicing by longshoremen,
– the elimination of the most expensive container handling equipment,
– pre-positioning of containers in preassigned slots,
– in-house, programmed delivery by salaried drivers,
– the release of valuable acreage for other more profitable uses,
– the availability of acreage for warehousing and cross-docking facilities,
– the elimination of congestion within terminals and the surrounding communities,
– the elimination of pollution caused by idling trucks and outmoded yard equipment,
– reduced costs of terminal operations,
– reduced costs to end users,
– increased profits for terminals and port authorities,
– the creation of employment opportunities presently restricted by cramped operations,
… and allowed for 100% scanning/inspection of incoming and outgoing containers!
Do you suppose the above advantages would influence those mega-ship owners?
Those ship owners are interested in any steps that would bring about just one extra “turn” every year. That bonus trip is what fattens up the bottom line, and the savings in time and expense provided by our patented storage, retrieval and delivery system could conceivably produce more than just one extra “turn” for shipowners.
And the East Coast port using our system will provide carriers with those profitable extra “turns”.