I donâ€™t know anyone outside the US who would invest in a new terminal thatâ€™s not automated now.â€?
if we can get the drought situation under control in the US, we can ship grain to Asia, and from the Pacific northwest to the Mideast,â€? he suggests. Rodrigue, too, expects the bigger canal to provide better economies of scale for transporting coal, iron ore, oil and grain. The canal will be useful for movements from South America to Asia, and from Asia to Africa, where the Chinese are investing heavily in minerals and bulk resources. â€œThere may be coal going from Brazil and Colombia to Asia as well,â€? adds Martin. â€œThese have been ignored commodities, but theyâ€™ll have a greater potential growth market to feed the Chinese economy.â€?
Ports expanding Across the region, port authorities and terminal operators are considering the infrastructure investment requirements for the New Panamax era. This involves equipment, such as, cranes, expanded berths and terminal areas as well as dredging. â€œFor instance, many East Coast ports are embarking on dredging and infrastructure investments. In many cases, this involves high risk as traffic expectations may not materialise,â€? warns Rodrigue. â€œLetâ€™s face it, investors are not going to invest in terminals with less than 12 metres of water,â€? says Martin. â€œThe US Army Corps of Engineers has to decide which channels will be deepened. Unfortunately, it does so through an archaic bureaucratic system that can take up to 18â€“20 years. And thereâ€™s no funding for infrastructure projects in the port sector right now.â€? At present on the US East Coast, only Baltimore and Norfolk are ready to handle the big New Panamax ships, with Miami soon to follow. New York, meanwhile, must raise part of the Bayonne Bridge 20 metres to accommodate the big ships, a project that could cost one billion dollars. â€œHowever, ports in Central America are really gearing up, for instance, the APM terminal in Moin, Costa Rica,â€? says Martin. â€œTheyâ€™re focusing on refrigerated cargo for now, but that may expand.â€? The investment in the Moin terminal indicates confidence in linking the West Coast of South America to the US East Coast and Europe. Martin sees a few other wild cards in the deck. â€œOn top of all that, there are potentially competing Central American rail developments. And another big factor will be the impact on tolls,â€? says Martin. â€œHow much will Panama have to raise tolls? Thatâ€™s a critical issue.â€? Just as important to all of this is the growth in new supply
sources in South East Asia, he argues. â€œFor major terminal operators and ocean carriers, clearly the Suez is where the action will be for containers because of its proximity to Vietnam, India and Cambodia, which are growing quickly as consumer goods producers.â€? The new workhorse ships will be 6,500â€“9,000 TEU and are already being deployed through the Suez. Some 43 percent of all container ships on the order books are over 8,000 TEU. â€œBut letâ€™s be realistic,â€? adds Martin. â€œThe Panama Canal is not causing shipbuilders to build bigger ships. Itâ€™s the economies of scale. Itâ€™s all about delivered-logistics prices; thatâ€™s where the cargo will go, period. They can reduce their operating costs per tonne significantly by building fewer, bigger ships. The bottom line is, itâ€™s all about costs.â€?
Cranes for Caracas Some 1,500 km east of the Panama Canal, Kalmar is helping to develop one of Venezuelaâ€™s main ports by GHOLYHULQJDÄťHHWRIODUJHFUDQHV/D*XDLUDSRUWQHDU &DUDFDVZKLFKGDWHVEDFNWRWKHVL[WHHQWKFHQWXU\ ZLOOJDLQDWHFKQRORJLFDOHGJHLQWKHÄşUVWKDOIRI ZLWKWKHGHOLYHU\RI.DOPDU(2QHÂ?UXEEHUW\UHG JDQWU\57* FUDQHV 7KHODUJHRUGHUZDVWKHVHFRQGVHFXUHGLQ0DUFK IURP%ROLYDULDQDGH3XHUWRV%ROLSXHUWRV 6$7KH GHDOZDVUHDFKHGWKURXJKFRQVWUXFWLRQFRQWUDFWRU 7HL[HLUD'XDUWHSDUWRIDFRQVRUWLXPGHYHORSLQJ/D *XDLUD7KHRUGHULVZRUWKVRPHPLOOLRQHXURV 7KHWRQQHFDSDFLW\57*FUDQHVKDYHDOLIWKHLJKW RIRYHUDQGDVSDQRI7KHRUGHULQFOXGHV .DOPDUpV6PDUW3RUWSURFHVVDXWRPDWLRQVROXWLRQ 6PDUW5DLODVZHOODV6PDUW)OHHWZKLFKHQDEOHVPRUH HIIHFWLYHVXSSRUWRIWHUPLQDOHTXLSPHQW
Published on Jun 28, 2013