#42 – Inside Our Industry – Southeast Ports Expand Capacity

Posted on | Inside Our Industry

By now, most of us know what the “Ever Given” is.  With the complete disruption of container ship transportation, the value of efficient port movement will prove critical as delayed ships line up at ports to be unloaded. Economic recovery is at stake.

Southeast Ports Expand Capacity
Tom Gresham, Area Development, Q1 2021

Southeastern U.S. ports are pursuing aggressive infrastructure expansion projects to accommodate larger vessels and more cargo.

Growth is the key word at ports throughout the Southeast U.S. as they invest billions of dollars in ambitious infrastructure projects designed to accommodate larger ships, more cargo, and accelerating economic development activity. An ambitious approach to capital developments is necessary for ports in the region to keep up with growing volumes and the increasing capacity of the container ships that the ports need to attract to their terminals. For ports, that means always looking to the future and planning for what comes next.

“The size of the container ships that are out there crossing the oceans have grown a lot faster than you can redo terminal infrastructure, so you can’t just say, ‘What do we need today?’” says Russell Held, vice president of Economic Development for the Port of Virginia. “You’ve got to always be looking ahead to what we need 10 or 15 or 20 or more years from now and build toward that.”

According to the Journal of Commerce, ports in the Southeast will invest more than $850 million in 2021 alone in infrastructure projects designed to help terminals handle multiple vessels of 14,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) and higher simultaneously. For example, Ports America Chesapeake, the operator of the Port of Baltimore, is investing more than $166 million in upgrades that will allow for the loading and unloading of two large container ships at once. Here are how some other key ports in the Southeast are expanding to boost economic development in their regions:

* $2 Billion Investment in SC Ports
* Tampa Bay Adds to Container Terminal Footprint
* Georgia Ports Boosting Regional Economy
* Virginia To Have Deepest East Coast Harbor

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