We wrote about the lack of waterfront space in Article 4 of this Volume, and along with everyone else, we’ve been scoffing at those who entertain visions of transporting 19,000,000 TEUs annually through the “Big Apple” by the year 2040.
But take a look at the Delaware River. Along that 108-mile un-dredged stretch lies the solution to the problems that are befuddling port and transportation authorities in the Northeast Corridor. The NY/NJ port complex contributes immensely to the problem because those in authority are obsessed with primitive container-handling methods. The NY/NJ complex, in fact, is the very cause of the problems that beset the merchants and consumers in the Northeast, and although an open-minded evaluation of our patented high-density storage, retrieval and delivery system would increase capacities and introduce efficiencies at the terminals in that complex, no system will ever make it possible for 19,000,000 TEUs to pass through that mega-metropolis. There’s no elbow room.
But it’s a lot different along the Delaware. The Port of Wilmington, of course, is quite busy, but that’s not all that the Delaware offers. The possibilities are immense. From Philadelphia/Camden down to Salem, and even Bridgeton, there are more than a dozen ideal locations for container-handling operations … small, unencumbered and profitable container-handling operations, not unwieldy, congested and costly eyesores. Chester, Gloucester City, Eddystone, Pennsauken, Camden, and even Paulsboro (where we used to take the foot ferry to and from the Navy Yard many years ago) … all these coastal communities should be cashing in on the container terminal “gold mines”.
The patented high-density system we mentioned above could easily be retrofitted in these local terminals for a fraction of what a 108-mile dredging project would cost. Unlike the cost of that dredging project, however, the full cost would be borne by sources other than taxpayers, and communities, taxpayers, port authorities and local merchants would reap unheard of financial returns. Employment opportunities would abound.
We’d like to add that, contrary to what the news media has been reporting, all container ships are not megaships. In fact the highest percentage of container ships are of the smaller variety, requiring no dredging and no high-priced container-handling equipment in port operations. These highly maneuverable and flexible vessels could service local ports all along the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania waterfront. Shippers would jump at the opportunity to reduce transportation costs, provide lower costs to the buying public, while yet fattening up their own bottom lines.
If you have any doubts about the future of those Delaware River ports, check out the recent announcement with respect to Maersk’s intentions at the Port of Coos Bay, in Oregon. You never heard of the Port of Coos Bay, right? Well, that’s because it isn’t as big as the NY/NJ complex or the LA/Long Beach complex. The Port of Coos Bay isn’t even as big as those Delaware River ports we’ve been discussing, in fact, but it’s big enough for the world’s largest operator of container ships. Doesn’t that tell you something?