In Your Dreams …

So now that the welfare checks are coming in … ooops, that should read “economic stimulus checks” … the Jacksonville Times-Union provides its readers with a sampling of the projections port officials are feeding the media. Bearing in mind that almost every U.S. port is experiencing unanticipated reductions in imported cargo, here’s what the Times-Union printed late in April:

“Mobile, Ala.
• Alabama State Port Authority increasing container capacity to 350,000 20-foot equivalent units by September and then 800,000 by next year.

“Charleston, S.C.
• South Carolina State Ports Authority/Charleston already has a 45-foot-deep channel, but a study is ongoing about deepening it.

“New Orleans
• Port of New Orleans Part of a $ 1 billion package of capital projects, port officials plan to nearly quadruple container capacity by 2020.

“Fort Lauderdale
• Port Everglades Planning to deepen channel from 45 to 49 feet.

“Also looking into increasing container capacity.

• Jacksonville Port Authority Planning to deepen channel to 45 tp 50 feet. Also, increasing container capacity with the addition of the TraPac terminal, expected to open within the next year. A pending deal with Korean shipping company Hanjin could help triple the port’s container traffic.

• Georgia Ports Authority Super Ports Authority ‘Super post-Panamax’ cranes, which stretch 367 feet above the water, arrived in February. The port is a major competitor for Jacksonville’s shipping business. Georgia Ports Authority officials did not respond to a request to learn more about improvement plans …”

The writer of this Times-Union news report, surmises that there is no “specific time line on this, but port officials believe 1,000-foot ships carrying 8,000 TEUs should be coming soon,” and without batting an eye he adds, “depending on economic factors such as product demand and fuel prices … the Jacksonville Port Authority, like many of its counterparts throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Seaboard, is eager to capture as much of that cargo as possible.”

[They want to spend billions, but “product demand” isn’t assured? In your dreams.]