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- Sean Mahoney
With continuing congestion affecting major US container gateways, many shippers have turned their attention to alternative ports such as Boston, Jaxport, Philadelphia, and others that are not experiencing vessel backups and excessive numbers of containers on the yard, impacting productivity and flow. But questions persist about smaller ports’ ability to provide the necessary end-to-end infrastructure to support supply chains such as truck and chassis capacity and proximity to distribution centers. Boston, for example, cites the dredging of Boston Harbor to 47 feet, building its new Berth 10 with 3,300 feet of linear berth space, and three new ship-to-shore cranes able to accommodate 14,000 TEU vessels. Jaxport this summer will complete a $484 million project to deepen its channel to 47 feet, and construction is underway on $200 million in berth and terminal improvements at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island, while Ceres Terminals is investing an additional $15 million to modernize the port’s Dames Point facility. At Philadelphia, $1 billion in port-related infrastructure improvements is completed or underway, and truck turn times of under 50 minutes are typical for a dual move. In this TPM case study, representatives of the ports and customers will discuss how the ports can be seen as viable alternatives for shippers looking to diversify ports of entry.