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Inland Port 2011 Issue VI


Promotes Environmental Sustainability

Panama Canal Impact Projections Inland Ports Must Promote Trade with Mexico PIANC and IRPT Conference Wraps

IP Editorial Board

Jennifer Carpenter American Waterways Operators Sr. Vice President-National Advocacy, AWO


ISSN 2156-7611


Published bimonthly by

Debra Colbert Waterways Council Communications Manager, Waterways Council

Keith Garrison National Waterways Conference Executive Director, Arkansas Waterways Commission

Michael Gerhardt Dredging Contractors of America Assistant Executive Director, DCA

Michael McQuillan Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals Vice President, Hanson Professional Services

Maurice Owen Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals Vice-President, Sales and Marketing Yellow Banks River Terminal, LLC

Jim Stark Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association Executive Director

Hudson Jones Publications, LLC Houston, Texas • Tulsa, Oklahoma 281-602-5400 Editor Daron Jones Director of Advertising Jo Anne Hudson Entire contents ©2011, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without written permission of Hudson Jones Publications, LLC, is prohibited. The publisher accepts no responsibility for content of any advertisements solicited and/or printed herein, including any liability arising out of any claims for infringement of any intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks, trade dress and/or copyrights; nor any liability for the text, misrepresentations, false or misleading statements, illustrations, such being the sole responsibility of the advertisers. All advertisers agree to defend, indemnify and hold the publisher harmless from all claims or suits regarding any advertisements. Due to printing and ink variances, the publisher does not guarantee exact color matching. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publisher or staff. Readers’ views are solicited ( Publisher reserves the right to publish, in whole or in part, any letters or correspondence received. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.


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Inland Port 2011 • Issue VI

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Corps of Engineers Aims for Environmental Sustainability

By Thomas J. Fredette, Ph.D., and Burton Suedel, Ph.D. US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center

Part 1 of 3

How Will the Panama Canal Expansion Impact US Foreign Trade? By Randolph R. Resor, USDOT Policy Advisor, and Eric Gabler, US Maritime Administration Economist


Wake Up and Smell the (Mexican) Coffee!


IRPT Will See You in St. Louis in 2012


Fabric Structures Offer Solutions to Port Storage Needs


Port Projects Awarded $62 Million in TIGER III Grants

By NAFTA Marine Company’s Joseph P. Linck, Jr., Former Director of the Port of Brownsville

20 Smart Rivers 2011 a Resounding Success

By Kelly J. Barnes, PIANC USA Deputy Secretary

Shows Port of Toledo Responsible for 7,000 Jobs 24 Study and Billion Dollar Impact

25 Great Lakes-Seaway Season Sails Toward Positive Close 27


Industry Notebook

18 20

Corps of Engineers Aims for Environmental Sustainability


By Thomas J. Fredette, Ph.D., and Burton Suedel, Ph.D. US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory, Vicksburg, MS

avigation infrastructure projects all involve human management of some aspect of the natural environment such as current flow, channel depth, or linkages between waterways through, for example, dredged channels, locks, jetties, and canals. While minimizing unintended and adverse impacts from such endeavors is the goal of environmental assessment, there are also environmental enhancements that can be incorporated into the design of projects that are often overlooked. When identified early, there are many potential environmental features that could be easily incorporated into the planning process. US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) policy 1,2, supports the concept of incorporating environmental design features as part of USACE projects, but realities associated with funding policies must also be factored into decisions. Navigation infrastructure projects are prominent features of the nation’s waterways and thus provide a considerable opportunity for increasing sustainable features. The USACE is responsible for over 12,000 miles of navigation channel, 195 navigation locks, and hundreds of jetties, breakwaters, and anchorages. For example, the USACE New England District alone has over 130 breakwaters and jetties with a total length of over 40 miles, over 2,000 acres of anchorage, and over 470 miles of channel. This infrastructure already provides valuable habitat for fisheries and waterfowl, but these habitat features are often “accidental” – as opposed to being deliberately planned into the design. This article explores opportunities for enhancing life-promoting features of coastal infrastructure. With the use of more creative design, low-cost measures could be implemented as part of routine maintenance, scheduled repairs or new modifications, and would result in improved habitat. Ongoing USACE Initiatives Engineering with Nature” (EWN) is an initiative that has been developed within the USACE Dredging Operations and Environmental Research (DOER) Program. The basic concept of EWN involves promoting greater environmental and social sustainability of navigation infrastructure. This will be done by looking for creative ways to apply science, engineering, partnerships, and operational practice leading to expanded environmental and social benefits from navigation infrastructure. One example of this is being conducted under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (, where a study is underway to identify pilot projects which can be implemented in association with regularly scheduled maintenance activities of harbor jetties and breakwaters. In the long-term, it is anticipated that these example projects will lead to changes in the way that future structures are planned and designed. How the Concept of Environmental Sustainability Applies to Coastal Structures Coastal engineering structures can be made “greener” if they are designed to provide life-promoting habitat for species such as fish and birds and their food sources (insects and aquatic plants), or by modifying design to improve water quality or other environmental factors. Structures like breakwaters and jetties are usually designed to manage some aspect of the natural environment; for example, to improve naviga-


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The USACE’s McFarland dredge.

tion, to provide protection from storm waves, or to control erosion or sediment movement. The first consideration for planners is usually to minimize unintended negative impacts on the environment from a new structure where design is largely driven by the engineering requirements. However, with planning and forethought, a project can also be designed to create environmental benefits. When they are identified early, it is easier to add these “green” design ideas into coastal projects. In addition, green features can be incorporated into the maintenance and rehabilitation of older or degraded structures. Current Environmental Benefits of Existing Structures Existing breakwaters and jetties do provide some environmental benefits. For nearly 30 years, it has been known that rubble-mound breakwaters provide reeflike or rocky shore habitat for a variety of 2011 Issue VI

fish, bird, and mammal species. Such structures provide a place that many species of algae, aquatic plants such as sedges and rushes, and animals such as crayfish or crabs can call home. Since these species serve as a potential food resource for many fish, some of these structures serve as sheltering, foraging, spawning, or nursery habitat for fish and invertebrates. This is why shoreline rubble-mound structures are such popular recreational fishing spots. Possible Improvements to Existing Structures While coastal engineering structures are prominent throughout the nation’s waterways, few were designed specifically to provide environmental benefits. Each year, new structures are constructed and existing ones undergo modification or maintenance. Many breakwaters are aging and are in need of substantial repair. As plans for the new structures or plans for maintenance of the existing

ones are developed, planners, engineers, designers, ecologists, and stakeholders may be able to identify project design features that will better support wildlife species and that can be incorporated with little to no cost increase to the project. Therefore, with advance planning, the opportunities for adding environmental enhancements could be considerable. Adding design features that are better for the environment and that support wildlife may serve the needs of other interested parties willing to share the additional costs (cost-sharing). Involving wildlife-focused agencies and nongovernmental organizations can create an enhanced project and review dynamic that, in turn, leads to projects that can be supported by a wider component of society due to the multifunctional purposes such projects serve. Structural Enhancement Possibilities Environmental enhancements have 5

Conceptual drawing of a breakwater enhanced using varied slopes, a sinuous toe, caverns, and various stone sizes to attract fish.

already been made to a small number of coastal structures, while others have been suggested as part of the planning process. There are also opportunities to modify existing structures that can offer additional environmental benefits, such as: • Adding pea gravel around a breakwater toe to enhance the available fish spawning substrate; • Scratching hard, featureless structures (such as concrete walls) in freshwater systems to enhance the settlement of aquatic insects; • Using different sizes of stone (to increase surface complexity) or placing cross-sectional modifications around other coastal structures like revetments to enhance habitat; • Placing underwater reef segments/ prefabricated reef modules as a component of the structure or extending linearly from the ends or placed in concentric arcs; • Providing terrestrial nesting habitat for birds, such as terns or osprey, on offshore breakwaters; and, • Providing habitat shelves by placing additional bedding stone beyond typical limits on the protected side of the structure, then using smaller stone to build different rock levels on an additional bedding base. 6

Overcoming Implementation Challenges The primary obstacles to implementing the green infrastructure concept involve complications to future maintenance, cost sharing, and compromising structural integrity and functional performance. Future maintenance of infrastructure projects is a concern because maintenance would be subject to potential environmental restrictions, thus making the maintenance more complex and costly. At some projects, apprehension about future maintenance has led to the abandonment of any effort to “green” coastal structures. Some fear that in the process of “doing good” any future ability to properly and efficiently maintain a project will be hindered. Cost sharing also is a potential impediment to implementing some green coastal structure projects. For example, Sections 1135 and 204 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 and 1992, respectively, require a 25% non-federal cost share toward the costs of USACE-led improvement, protection or restoration of habitats. Potential Solutions to Overcome the Challenges The following are potential solutions

to the challenges of implementing the Engineering With Nature infrastructure concept. • Maximize use of coordination mechanisms. EWN projects will require coordination among multiple stakeholders. • Document existing projects. The green concept will be more quickly adopted if there are documented projects that demonstrate success and benefits. Identifying and documenting good case studies will help advance the concept. • Conduct pilot projects. Pilot studies provide an excellent opportunity to conduct field-scale proof-of-concept projects. Pilot projects are a good way to quickly develop and refine innovations. Developing a range of pilot projects, in coordination with construction or maintenance, will help promote the concept. • Prioritize project sites. A priority list should be developed for the various EWN projects that could be implemented. • Seek new funding mechanisms for EWN projects. Cost sharing will be an on-going challenge to implementing the concept. Solutions may include developing a special regional program to support these activities. Another possibility would be to promote corporate donations and utilize non-profit funding avenues to sup2011 Issue VI

port the concept. • Develop interagency agreements. Interagency agreements that describe long-term policy towards EWN projects have great potential to decrease resistance to project implementation and future misunderstandings. Interagency agreements could be project-specific or regional. Conclusion The EWN concept provides a relatively new concept to many planners and designers, but offers great potential for creating projects that better serve the environment, society, and the economy and are thus more sustainable. Incorporating this approach into standard business practices within agencies responsible for such infrastructure will take time, but the longterm, broader benefits could be substantial. IP

The Authors Dr. Burton Suedel is a research biologist at the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He has published multiple peerreviewed manuscripts in the areas of aquatic and sediment toxicology, fate and effects of contaminants in sediments, and risk and decision analysis. Dr. Suedel’s research focuses on risk assessment of dredged material and invasive species, multi-criteria decision analysis, incorporating uncertainty into ecosystem restoration projects, and investigating ways in which environmental enhancements can be incorporated into navigation and port infrastructure planning. He can be reached at burton. Dr. Tom Fredette is a research biologist at the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, stationed in the New England District in Concord, Massachusetts. He has published multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts in the areas of sustainable coastal infrastructure, contaminated sediment management, environmental monitoring, and marine ecology. Dr. Fredette’s research focuses on dredged material management, sediment capping and confined aquatic disposal cells, and investigating ways in which environmental enhancements can be incorporated into navigation and port infrastructure planning. He can be reached at

End Notes 1 - USACE Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan FY 2010 - FY 2020, Campaign Plan Goal 3: “Deliver innovative, resilient, sustainable solutions to the Armed Forces and the Nation.” 2 - USACE Environmental Operating Principle #3: “Seek balance and synergy among human development activities and natural systems by designing economic and environmental solutions that support and reinforce one another.”

2011 Issue VI


How Wil the Panama Canal Expansion Impact US Foreign Trade? The question is on the mind of many industry insiders. How will an expanded Panama Canal impact the US economy, and the coastal and inland waterways in particular? The Panama Canal Authority’s third set of locks is scheduled to open in 2014, enabling it to accommodate much larger vessels and more annual transits. The actual impact of the Panama Canal expansion on US foreign trade routes is the subject of significant uncertainty among experts due to a broad range of difficult-to-predict factors. These include the responses of West Coast ports and western railroads to new competition from all-water services to the East, the effects of slow steaming on cargo inventory costs, and the readiness of East and Gulf Coast ports to handle very large ships. In this, the first of a three-part series, the authors describe some of the variables that will ultimately determine the impact of the Panama Canal expansion on the US economy.

Part 1 of 3 By Randolph R. Resor USDOT Policy Advisor and Eric Gabler US Maritime Administration Economist



he Panama Canal was opened in 1914, just at the start of the First World War. During the war years, only about 2,000 ships a year transited the Canal, but this volume grew rapidly after the Armistice to an average of more than 5,000 transits during the 1920s. While the “path between the seas” was a major American engineering accomplishment, by the 1930s there were already concerns about the size of the locks (110 feet wide by 1,050 feet long). A new class of US Navy battleships, the “Montana” class, was proposed in the late 1930s. With a beam of 121 feet, these vessels would have been unable to navigate the Canal. In 1939, with the delivery of the first Montana-class battleship scheduled for 1945, Congress approved funds for construction of a new set of larger-capacity locks for the Canal. Numerous studies had been undertaken, as early as the 1920s, on constructing new locks, converting the canal to a sea-level passage, or building a new canal in another location. Nicaragua was the choice of many groups sent to study the issue. But the least costly and quickest alternative for

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increasing the size of vessels able to transit the Panama Canal was a set of two new locks, one parallel to the Gatun Locks near the Atlantic coast of Panama, and one adjacent to the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks on the Pacific side. Dry excavation of new inlet channels to the two lock sites began in 1940. Concerns arose about the priority of this work, however, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. In late 1942 a decision was made to suspend the procurement of Montana-class battleships, and in mid-1943 the new battleship program was canceled entirely, before the keel of the first ship had been laid. Shortly thereafter, work was suspended on the new Panama Canal locks. Things remained this way for the next 60 years. The Canal continued to handle increasing volumes of traffic. New, larger vessels entering into world commerce in the 1950s and 1960s were too large for the Canal and instead began transiting Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. The Suez Canal, which competed with Panama for some traffic, was repeatedly widened and deepened and, as of 2010, could accommodate vessels with a maximum draft of 20 meters (66 feet), and a beam of 50 meters (164 feet), although much wider beams of 254 feet can be accommodated under certain circumstances. The Suez Canal, however, was subject to several closures during the 1950s through the 1970s, at one point for a period of more than eight years. Changing Hands AND CHANGING LOCKS In 1977, the United States and Panama signed a treaty to turn over control of the Canal to Panama as of December 31, 1999. In 1979, the American-controlled Panama Canal Company was replaced with a bi-national Panama Canal Commission, which administered the canal until the end of the century. In 2000, the Commission was replaced by the Autoridad del Canal de Panama (Panama Canal Authority or ACP), a Panamanian government enterprise. ACP immediately began investigating the feasibility of expanding the Canal’s capacity. At present, the Panama Canal sees around 13,000 vessel transits a year (about 35 per day), versus 20,000 vessel transits for the Suez Canal. And, of course, the Suez can accommodate much larger vessels (note that much of the traffic through each canal does not compete with the other, however). ACP calculates that 15,000 transits a year is close to the present maximum capacity of the canal. Following several years of studies of potential traffic volumes and revenues, in 2006 ACP put a financing package in place to expand the capacity of the Canal. ACP is borrowing $5.2 billion from several sources, including the Inter-American Development Bank, to build the locks component of the project. It will finance the loans and the remainder of the non-lock components of the project out of cash flow from tolls. This will pay for two new entrance channels (using 85 percent of the excavation done by the US in the 1940s) and two new locks approximately at the locations of the 2011 Issue VI

new locks planned for the US expansion. However, the locks will be larger than those designed in the 1940s, permitting the passage of vessels up to 1,200 feet long, with 160 foot beams and 50 foot drafts. These are the dimensions of many of the newest container ships with capacities in the range of 12,000 to 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). However, some new container ships, such as the Emma Maersk at 13,500+ TEU and other ultra large vessels on order, are too large for even the expanded Canal. The new locks and approach channels, and other improvements including the widening and deepening of the Culebra Cut and an increase of a bit less than two feet in the level of Gatun Lake, are scheduled to be completed and in service by 2014. At that time, most container ships and many bulk ships sailing the world’s oceans (but not including very large and ultra-large crude oil and ore carriers) will be able to transit the Panama Canal. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON US WATERWAYS The impact this will have has been widely debated. The effect of the Panama Canal expansion on world commerce could be very significant. In North America, flows of exports and imports could shift among ports, potentially shifting Asian cargoes from West Coast ports to East and Gulf Coast ports. Direct service by larger ships could reduce costs to shippers, although by 2014 only a few of the East and Gulf Coast ports will be able to accommodate direct service by the larger ships. Other East and Gulf Coast ports are planning for deeper channels and otherwise are acquiring equipment to service the much larger vessels. Also of concern are expected changes to the inland flows of cargo. In recent years, about 70 percent of Asian imports have entered the United States by West Coast ports, with much of this traffic moving eastward to population centers overland (mostly by rail). Should substantial components of this traffic divert to East and Gulf Coast ports, major changes in inland traffic flows would occur. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has engaged contractor Economic Development Research Group (EDRG), along with several subcontractors, to examine these and other potential impacts of the Panama Canal expansion. The study will be completed during 2012. In the meantime, there have been many studies already completed by a number of

tions over the last several years, offering a wide variety of predicted scenarios. This series of articles will review the work that has been done to date and summarize the factors expected to influence the impact of the Panama Canal expansion on US trade flows. Many of the identified factors will be more thoroughly addressed by USDOT in its own on-going study. Diversion from Existing Overland to All-Water Routes An area of major interest to US governments, ports, and the transportation industry is the potential diversion of Asian imports from West Coast ports (where goods are largely moved east by rail) to an all-water routing to East and Gulf Coast ports via the expanded Panama Canal. In particular, some in the industry expect that the expanded Panama Canal’s ability to accommodate container ships with up to 13,000 TEUs capacity will shift a growing share of Asia trade to all-water service to the East and Gulf Coasts, continuing a trend from the last decade. Many East Coast and Gulf Coast ports are already planning or making investments in part to accommodate this expected development. USDOT

and other Federal agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), are very interested in facilitating these efforts in a rational and costeffective manner through support to port infrastructure, intermodal, and channel projects. West Coast ports are vital to accommodating container traffic, with the five largest ports accounting for just over half of all the loaded international containers handled by the top 20 container ports in the United States. Two-thirds of these containers carry imported goods. Asia accounts for the great majority of the West Coast containers. The West Coast’s share of Asian imports to the United States has stabilized at about 70 percent since 2008 (falling from 80 percent in 2000), with the East Coast ports handling 28 percent and Gulf Coast ports handling two percent. East and Gulf Coast traffic (which includes 9

a much larger share of containers arriving from or going to Europe and other non-Asian sources) is divided among a larger group of the top 20 US container ports (11 ports on the East Coast and four Gulf Coast ports), all but four of which handle smaller numbers of containers than do the top West Coast ports. Moreover, the import/export mix of the East and Gulf Coast ports is more evenly balanced than on the West Coast, with the five West Coast ports handling 22 percent more import containers than the 15 East and Gulf ports combined. Any significant shift of import traffic from West Coast to East Coast will require substantial landside and channel investment and time to accommodate, particularly given that the containers would arrive in much larger quantities per vessel and the larger vessels must be handled quickly to avoid delaying these expensive ships and their onboard containers bound for other ports. The dilemma for all parties, however, is that the costs of such projects are high and port-byport responses to accommodate future trade shifts could easily lead to too much or too little capacity, or capacity in the wrong places, if not 10

planned and coordinated from regional and national perspectives. GRADUAL OR IMMEDIATE? The difficulty in planning for future port and other infrastructure needs is compounded by the uncertainty that a major rebalancing of trade from the West Coast to the East and Gulf Coasts via the Panama Canal will actually take place in the years immediately following 2014. Many experts in the industry are skeptical that there will be anything other than a gradual impact. The uncertainty about the degree of impact may seem surprising, given that the Panama Canal expansion is such a major and expensive undertaking and has been studied for some time. However, the Canal expansion, major as it is, is not occurring in a static environment. The net impact of many other incremental investments in transportation infrastructure, including the trend over the last decade to ever larger container ships, improvements to the capacity and environmental sustainability of West Coast ports, and the improvements in inland transportation connections within the United States, may go a long way toward

sustaining the current share of Asia trade handled by West Coast ports even as larger vessels are able to transit the Canal. Further complicating an assessment of these combined factors are the inherently private sector responses to them. Ultimately, different carriers will make different decisions about whether to route large vessels directly to US East and Gulf Coast ports, or to send them to Caribbean ports and transfer cargo to and from smaller feeder vessels serving the United States. Similarly, in seeking to maximize profits, the western railroads serving the United States may or may not choose to lower freight rates to preserve their market shares in response to reduced all-water costs to the East and Gulf Coasts. The ACP (which will likely function as would a profit maximizing private firm) will need to make complicated decisions on how much to toll vessels passing through the Canal, particularly in response to potentially lower-than-projected traffic volumes or higher-than-projected construction costs. Private competitors tend to carefully guard cost and rate data, which further complicates the job of government planners in attempting to respond to 2011 Issue VI

the need for public infrastructure. For instance, what are current inland rail rates and how much could they fall and still be profitable? What are the costs of container transfer operations in the Caribbean, particularly if scale economies in transshipment are realized at particular ports, and how much of the operating costs savings of larger container ships transiting the Canal would be eroded by the container transfer fees? How will shippers react to the longer transit times associated with all-water services, particularly in an era of slow steaming? Many more questions of this type will become apparent as we go forward. In general, however, in competitive situations where a cost reduction of $100 per TEU caused by the use of larger container ships transiting the Canal may influence decisions on whether to go by all water or by West Coast land bridge, the summation of offsetting transshipment fees, fuel surcharges, rail charges, port charges, and tolls can make an important difference in coastal shares of cargo. Individually, the sizes of these mitigating costs are hard to ascertain; their collective impact is even more difficult to quantify in a reliable manner. AccommodatING Larger Vessels Many ports on the US East and Gulf Coasts are planning to accommodate large post-Panamax vessels in the near future and are proposing to make large investments to accomplish this (some ports can already handle some of these ships). These include deepening channels, adding new

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post-Panamax cranes with sufficient reach to work ships with 160 foot beams, and making improvements in other areas such as on-dock rail. New York is proposing to spend over a billion dollars to increase the “air draft” of the Bayonne Bridge so the new, larger ships can reach Port Newark Elizabeth, the main container facility in the harbor. The trend of world shipping is clearly toward larger container ships – larger than the 5,000 TEUsize vessels that can currently transit the Canal and increasingly above 10,000 TEU. Alphaliner recently reported that, Since 2008, 98 ships of over 10,000 TEU have been delivered with a further 147 units due for delivery over the next four years. Their ranks are expected to swell by over 50 units by the end of the year as plans by various carriers to order ships of this size are firmed…The carriers’ inability to rein-in the huge appetite for new and larger tonnage will inevitably lead to further rate competition. Of the main carriers, 13 have already opted for ships of at least 12,500 teu, with only seven of the Top-20 carriers not yet committed to ships of above 10,000 teu (Alphaliner Weekly Newsletter, Volume 2011, Issue 25). Alphaliner further notes that unit cost advantages for a 13,000 TEU vessel compared to an 8,500 TEU vessel can be $150 per TEU in the Far East-Suez-Europe trade and relative to a 6,500 TEU vessel can be $250. These impacts are significant in a low freight rate environment and will continue to drive the trend toward larger ships and place growing pressure on vessels

under 8,000 TEU. Thus, quite apart from the potential need to accommodate 5,000+ TEU vessels that will begin to arrive via the Panama Canal from 2014 onwards, East Coast and Gulf Coast ports and the railroads and highway connectors that support them will eventually need to handle these large vessels (and their cargos) as they become more prevalent in the worldwide trades. The inability to accommodate such vessels could otherwise relegate all but a few East Coast and Gulf Coast ports to service by smaller feeder container ships and less efficient bulk ships, and possibly put some ports at risk of losing customers to higher volume ports elsewhere in the United States and Canada (such as Halifax). Investment to accommodate larger container and bulk ships is extensive and costly, affecting channels, port facilities, and inland connections. Whereas most major ports will want to accommodate vessels larger than 5,000 TEU, accommodation of the largest of these ships (particularly those with drafts of 45 feet or more) will be very expensive. Nine of the top 15 container ports on the East and Gulf Coast ports currently do not have channels of 45 feet, and only one currently has channels of 50 feet needed for ultra large container ships (although Baltimore and New York will soon reach 50 feet). Moreover, while accommodation of vessels of under 9,000 TEU is viable in ports with channels of 45 feet, it is not clear that many ports will have the trade volumes to draw these vessels. It


will be significantly more challenging for ports to accommodate vessels larger than 10,000 TEU, especially those ships of more than 13,000 TEUs (ranging up to 18,000 TEUs) that are also too large to transit even the expanded Panama Canal. Some operators of very large container ships are likely to implement a “four corner” strategy (New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles/Long Beach, the Atlantic Southeast and the Pacific Northwest in North America), making at most two port calls on the West Coast and two on the East (or sometimes one on the East Coast and one in the Gulf). With larger ships, this could diminish to one port call per coast. Transshipment Options Some of the largest ships might bypass direct service to US East and Gulf Coast ports and

choose instead to “hub” at non-US ports with lower cargo handling costs and deeper drafts (such as Freeport, Bahamas), with feeder operations by smaller vessels from these ports to the United States. One possible scenario is the operation of an eastward round-the-world (ERTW) service with the large ships, calling at a transshipment port in the Caribbean. From that port, smaller vessels would serve ports in North and South America. Such operations would add time and container handling costs to all-water service, but by enabling operations by the very largest ships in the ERTW service, may prove economical if sufficient cargo volumes can be acquired. “Slow steaming” is a practice now common among liner companies in response to the high fuel prices of recent years. It involves the operation of vessels at less than their design speeds to reduce

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marine & rail terminals


fuel consumption and lower costs of operation. This practice significantly increases the alreadyexisting time penalty for all-water service from Asia to the US East Coast. While lower-value goods may be able to bear this penalty in return for lower transport costs, it is unclear if shippers of highervalue goods and time-sensitive products would be willing to trade off shipping cost for perhaps several additional days in transit on a route that already takes as much as a week longer than West Coast intermodal options. This will be particularly true if rail land bridge service becomes faster – western railroads are implementing some express services that can save more than more than a day from traditional services to inland locations. THE ASIA FACTOR Another factor that may affect vessel routing is the predicted shift in the locus of Asian manufacturing from China to Southeast Asia and India. Distance-wise, the “break point” for shipping to the Eastern United States via the Suez Canal vs. via the Panama Canal is Singapore. Goods originating west of Singapore and bound for the Eastern United States will typically move westward via the Suez Canal; to the east, they usually go eastward via the Panama Canal or West Coast land bridge. Ceteris paribus, as manufacturing shifts from China to India, traffic will shift from eastbound to westbound routes. Changing fuel costs, supplemental cargoes available for large vessels along the Suez route, issues of piracy, and differences in relative canal tolls (Suez vs. Panama Canal) could always change this equation. A shift toward Suez routings to the East Coast would not mitigate the need to accommodate larger vessels in East and Gulf Coast ports, however. Whether arriving from the east or west, via the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal, the trend is toward larger container ships which many East and Gulf Coast ports cannot currently handle. IP THE AUTHORS Randolph R. Resor is a Policy Advisor in the USDOT Office of the Secretary of Transportation in Washington, DC. He can be reached at randolph. Eric Gabler is an Economist for the US Maritime Administration in Washington, DC. You can reach him at The opinions presented here are those of the authors, not necessarily those of USDOT Printed with permission of the PIANC Smart Rivers Conference. The next Smart Rivers Conference will be held in 2013 in Belgium and The Netherlands. For more, visit 2011 Issue VI

Wake Up and Smell the (Mexican) Coffee! Joseph P. Linck, Jr., is a retired commodities trader and former Port Director at the Port of Brownsville. In the following interview, he has some rather stern words about the inland ports and waterways industry and its failure to capitalize on trade with our southern neighbors.

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inck has extensive experience in trading south of the border. “I made my living trading commodities via inland barges and ships, to and from Mexico, chartering vessels. I sold my last company, Global Stone, to Vulcan Materials Corp., around eight years ago, and retired. We imported crushed stone for road building via 65,000-ton bulkers, and inland barges. Our company was the first to do this here. Now Vulcan is one of Brownsville’s biggest customers.” To stay updated on potential shipping bonanzas, Linck reads many Spanish language industrial newspapers and trade journals. He has published some articles in Spanish about the cargo opportunities on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. He believes bilingual staff is imperative for success. “With USA railroads and trucks doing over 100 million tons per year of cargo, I am amazed that I’ve never met a barge freight salesman who speaks Spanish, or ever goes to Mexico. The Union Pacific alone has three sales offices in Mexico, and employ over 35 freight salesmen,” he says. “Railroads enjoy a virtual transportation monopoly over the entire NAFTA trading relationship with Mexico, one of the USA’s most important. The entire USA inland waterway industry is missing out on its single biggest potential new market by ignoring Mexico’s NAFTA inspired new industrial revolution.” Under the auspices of his NAFTA Marine Highway Company, Linck sends out periodic email updates on certain commodities coming up from Mexico, and their


It is unconscionable that we have allowed the railroads to take the high ground with the public about “green” transportation systems, when in fact a river barge is far “greener.” The inland waterway industry has numerous trade associations, especially if you include all the public port authorities. Their activities, however, seem to be limited to inside-the-beltway lobbying, instead of advertising and marketing out in the hinterland, and expanding our customer base and political constituency.

availability for inland waterways shipping. In the following interview, he has some rather stern warnings for the inland waterways and port industry.


You’re of the opinion that America’s inland waterways industry is missing out by ignoring Mexico’s NAFTA-inspired industrial revolution. Let’s look at that from several angles. Why do you think this is happening? They are not ignoring Mexico. Well over a million tons of cargos moved by inland barge at the Port of Brownsville as of September of this year. Most came from, or were going to, Mexico. But sadly, it could be much more. Over 100,000,000 tons of Mexican cargos move across Texas’s international bridges every year. Mexico has no inland waterway system, so they are unfamiliar with ours. Mention inland barges to most Mexican logistics executives, and you will get a blank stare. It is an educational process that is needed, and it is not happening. As in many industries today, good marketing has taken a back seat to cost cutting. For example, it is unconscionable that we have allowed the railroads to take the high ground with the public about “green” transportation systems, when in fact a river barge is far “greener.” The inland waterway industry has numerous trade associations, especially if you include all the public port authorities. Their activities, however, seem to be limited to inside-the-beltway lobbying, instead of 14

advertising and marketing out in the hinterland, and expanding our customer base in the private sector (and our political constituency). There is probably little money left in the budget to hire a specialized freight sales person who speaks Spanish, or has any knowledge of the Mexican industrial revolution going on right on our border, the Southern end of our inland waterway system. Another consequence of this recession, is a rebirth of Just-In-Time inventory control thinking that has decimated bottom line profitability, in favor of fast moving vehicles, and even LTL shipments instead of lower cost full truck loads. Contrary to popular belief, there is still a reason for a manufacturer to have a warehouse, and when a manufacturer buys in barge-load quantities, the warehousing is free. Inventory financing is free as well, as most suppliers don’t send an invoice until the merchandise is delivered. Bruce Mulliken said it best, “For the shipment of non-perishable goods, time is irrelevant. Once the supply flow has started it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there as long as the next load is right behind it. Speed is not necessary for the shipment of all goods.” What, exactly, is the industry missing out on in terms of profits, benefits, etc.? $1.8 billion dollars a year, according to the Union Pacific Railroad. That’s how much business they do with Mexico, mostly through Laredo, and their many other Texas international bridges. They are North America’s largest railroad, and the dominant player in the NAFTA trading relationship with Mexico,

joying 70% of the entire rail freight market. Kansas City Southern and the Burlington Northern also enjoy a profitable relationship with Mexico. The Union Pacific alone has at least three different sales offices located throughout Mexico, with over 35 freight sales executives. The USA inland waterway industry has none. Trade between Mexico and the USA was up 12.5% during September, hitting a record of $31.6 billion dollars. About 99% of this trade moved via trains and trucks, with only 1% moving via deep sea ships. The trade relationship is positive for the USA during that month, with Mexico buying more from the USA than they sold to us. They purchased $17.4 billion from us, and sold us only $14.2 billion in products. The distance between Laredo, Texas, (the railroad’s primary USA gateway), and the East coast of the USA is some 2,400 miles. A heavy truck must pass through dozens of cities to reach it’s destination, and cross tens of thousands of decaying, fragile bridges. What easier way to reduce traffic on four of the USDOT’s six named corridors of the future, than put some of these cargos on our inland waterways? What steps would you recommend the industry take to combat the virtual monopoly held by the railroad industry on the NAFTA trading relationship? Marketing in Mexico is the key to increasing barge cargos in or out of there. One of our many trade organizations should open a public relations office in Monterrey, Mexico. This big industrial city, located only 180 miles West of Brownsville, sitting rightsmack-dab in the middle of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway’s trade hinterland, is the industrial powerhouse of Mexico. It is known as the Pittsburgh of Latin America, and generates most of the trade between our two countries. A full-time presence there would be extremely positive to increase cargos on our inland waterways, and counter the sales efforts of the many USA railroads and truckers who already have offices there. A very profitable activity would be for someone to start up a long haul Container-On-Barge system out of Brownsville, Texas. This would allow Mexico’s small volume shippers to take advantage of the cost savings of our inland waterway system. Deep thinkers in Washington need to quit pondering containers as some exotic transportation concept, and accept them as just another type of cargo. Russia, Vietnam, China, India, Europe and South America have made Container-On-Barge, (COB) systems work. Why can’t the USA? Too few analysts have considered the long-haul route, which is where railroads and trucks are at an economic disadvantage. A viable COB route is one that is longer than a truck driver can drive in one day. Even better is one that starts in one railroad’s territory, and ends up in another’s. This forces railroads to interline with each other, which drives up their costs, frustrates equipment exchange, and makes it harder for them to compete. And few trade routes are longer than Mexico at one end, and the USA East Coast on the other. Texas’s international bridges cross over 100,000,000 tons of cargos per year, (4.5 million 2011 Issue VI

truck load equivalents). No other inland marine highway trade route passes through more states, nor impacts at least four of the US DOT’S six interstate highway, “Corridors of the Future,” while offering so many cargos. None other crosses half of the USA East to West, and over two-thirds of the country from North to South. And none other can pay a higher freight bill. Three times more than a barge for a truck, and practically twice as much for a rail car. Surely our barges can compete at those numbers. As a commodities trader and former Director at the Port of Brownsville, you made extensive use of barges moving cargo to and from Mexico. If you knew this was the way to go during your career, you must have worked with others who shared your vision. Why is it not more widespread? Quite simply put, the USA inland waterway industry is being out-marketed in Mexico by USA railroads and countless trucking companies. Few Mexican shippers know we even exist. Vicious price cutting targeted at barge cargos has also been a big factor. Is it as simple as inland ports, and their tenants, hiring Spanish-speaking employees to cultivate business relationships south of the border? Many business people have said that since most Mexican business executives speak English, then we don’t need Spanish-speaking executives. That monolingual and monocultural business executive is short-sighted. A Mexican logistics boss might nod his head positively in answer to a question, but that doesn’t mean he/she understands it. Generally they tend to say yes to most questions, just out of politeness and good manners, just like a European business person. We Americans are more blunt, and to the point. Knowing a language, requires knowledge of a culture, and understanding the subtle difference between a “yes” and a “yes-maybe.” Understanding your customer’s culture is essential to building a positive business relationship anywhere. In addition, I know of no English language news source that adequately covers Mexican transportation developments. There are several through out Latin America. Reading in Spanish is therefore essential to keep up with transportation news events there.

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Linck has an insightful perspective on trading with Mexico from his days as a Director at the Port of Brownsville


Despite being retired, you are still very plugged in to current events regarding inland ports and waterways. What is your forecast for what will happen once the Panama Canal project is completed? Ever more and ever cheaper Chinese merchandise hitting our shores, fewer American jobs, and more difficulty for the USA domestic manufacturers, and the domestic USA freight industry. As the deep thinkers in Washington keep justifying international trade cheaters mercantilist trade practices, based on lofty philosophic ideas such as “free trade,” then American jobs and our domestic economy will be the big losers. I am no protectionist, but there can be no free trade without fair trade. If China only sells stuff to us, and buys little, then any improvements to their ability to land stuff on our shores just benefits them. Unlike China, Mexico buys as much from the USA, as they sell to us. And unlike China, Mexico plays by the rules of fair trade. Historically, it has always been a balanced trading relationship. President Felipe Calderon said it all about the magic in the USA/Mexican trading relationship: “The USA economy is capital intensive and Mexico’s is labor intensive.” That says it all. A perfect match.

I am no protectionist, but there can be no free trade without fair trade. If China only sells stuff to us, and buys little, then any improvements to their ability to land stuff on our shores just benefits them. Unlike China, Mexico buys as much from the USA as they sell to us. And unlike China, Mexico plays by the rules of fair trade.

There is a lot of wisdom in your periodic emails that go out to industry insiders. How did you get started doing that, and how can those interested in receiving your updates get on your email list? Thanks to my location in Brownsville (a few blocks from Mexico), I am able to travel there frequently. I also read many Mexican newspapers and trade journals on a daily basis. When I read, hear about, or see a potential barge cargo, I simply pass them on via email to potential users, with brief translations into English. To get on my mailing list, email

A hot new cargo potential I’ve been reading about is the transport of new cars. Mexico exported 1,257,464 new cars to the USA market in the first 11 months of 2011, and 152,264 to Canada. Volkswagen in Chattanooga, and others, export USA made new cars to Mexico, which provides the back haul. According the Union Pacific’s web site, their 18,000 car carrier fleet is the largest in the industry, and approximately 48 percent of their automotive shipments move either to or from Mexico. The Mexican Automotive Industry Association, (AMIA), estimates that for 2011 net currency income for Mexico from this sector will reach US $30 billion, which will exceed the US $27 billion received last year. Mexico is fast becoming a Detroit City, as world wide auto makers continue to build new assembly plants there. Someone should immediately undertake a market research study to evaluate this potential new cargo. Why is Europe transporting new cars on their inland waterway system, while no one is doing it in the USA? Is there any advice you would give to the industry as a whole? In summary, whether it be Mexico, or Canada, or anywhere else, we need more constituents using our inland waterways. Why haven’t we expanded our fantastic river system like other countries are busy doing right now? Improvements to the Trinity river in Texas would bring Dallas and Ft. Worth into our immense inland navigation system,. It would drop the price of gasoline in both of those cities, and the price of crude oil in Houston. It would also increase the price of grain paid to farmers throughout North Texas, by giving them an outlet to the sea at Houston. The cross Florida Barge Canal would bring magic for the USA economy, finally joining our Gulf and Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway systems. Such an improvement would drop the price of gasoline for the entire East Coast, finally equalizing it with the price on the Gulf Coast. Why was the Wabash and Erie Canal abandoned? It connected the Ohio River in Indiana, to the Great Lakes at Toledo, Detroit, and even Canada. This strategic waterway should be rebuilt immediately. Why not improve the upper Missouri, extending navigation into the Dakotas, and load out all that excess Bakkan crude oil and natural gas there? Yes, it’s time for someone to consider building liquefied natural gas (LNG) barges. Ultra radical environmentalists think we can get by without new pipelines. Perhaps they are right, if we just start using our rivers to their full capacity. Improvements to our river system can be done in an environmentally responsible manner. Navigational improvements to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and the resulting inexpensive freight, is what developed the USA Midwest into the world’s foremost agricultural and industrial powerhouse. No other form of inland transportation is more economical than using our God-given rivers, and nothing stimulates economic development like low cost transportation. We need to get back to basics and reality, and grow our inland waterway system, if we are to compete in this new global economy, just like everyone else in the world is doing right now. IP


2011 Issue VI

IRPT Will See You in St. Louis in 2012 F

ollowing a highly successful breakfast meeting at Workboat 2011, IRPT is setting its sights on next year. The 2012 Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals Annual Meeting will be held May 1-4 in St. Louis. The Conference Chair is Maurice Owen, IRPT President and VP of Marketing at Yellow Banks River Terminal, Owensboro, KY. Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL) will be the Keynote Luncheon Speaker on Thursday. Terrence “Rock” Salt, Principal Deputy Assistant Director of the Army for Civil Works, has been invited to speak at the Opening Keynote on Wednesday. Jim Wiesmeyer, of Informa Economics, has been asked to present the 2012 Election Outlook. There will be an Industry Outlook Panel with speakers on grain, coal, fertilizer and liquid cargos. A Washington Overview of the Industry will feature Michael Toohey, President and CEO of Waterways Council. There will be panels on Economic Development at the Port of Metropolitan St. Louis and on Business Development. The latter will include information on Public-Private Partnerships, Port Financing Programs and Utilizing Universities for Marketing Studies. New this year will be a segment on Technology for a Better World: Security and Sustainability. But no IRPT Conference would be complete without a Golf Tournament – this time at Tapawingo National Golf Club, with Terry Moore of AEP River Operations coordinating it. The World Champion St. Louis Cardinals will be playing the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday night for a different kind of evening after being “in class” all day. Busch Stadium is within easy walking distance of the headquarters Hotel, Westin St. Louis. The IRPT Board of Directors Meeting is set for Tuesday afternoon, May 1st, to provide plenty of time to transact its business. Wednesday morning will see the General Membership Meeting and Elections, which have traditionally been scheduled for the last day of the conference. On Friday, there is a Board Orientation scheduled for the new Board of Directors. These new initiatives are designed to enhance member involvement in the decision-making process. Joining Owen and Moore on the Conference Committee are Jim Kearns at Bryan Cave, LLP; Otis Williams and Susan Taylor from the St, Louis Development Corporation; Phil Wright from L.B. Foster Co.; Daniel Negron from TT Club; and Dennis Wilmsmeyer from America’s Central Port. For information on registration, hotel reservations, sponsorship or exhibit opportunities, contact Deirdre McGowan at or IP 2011 Issue VI

(Above) IRPT President Maurice Owen enjoyed the Workboat breakfast with RADM Roy Nash, Commander of 8th Coast Guard District, and James Murphy, Gateway Office Director, Eastern Gulf/Lower Mississippi System, US DOT MARAD. (R) MARAD’s James Murphy with CDR Brian Hill, USCG (Ret), the new Western Gulf Gateway Director for Maritime Administration.


Fabric Structures Offer Solutions to Port Storage Needs T

ension fabric buildings, or fabric structures, are rising in popularity in virtually every industry, and with good reason. In the shipping and port communities, they are especially well suited for warehousing and other storage needs. ClearSpan Fabric Structures is a leading manufacturer of tension fabric buildings. ClearSpan offers durable, economical structures that can be custom designed to fit any type of port storage application. ClearSpan specialists guide customers through the process and communicate with inhouse design, engineering and manufacturing teams. The company is headquartered in South Windsor, CT, with manufacturing facilities located in Dyersville, IA. All structures are made in the USA. To learn more, visit IP

Tension fabric buildings feature fast construction timelines, taking as little as three to five days to install.

Fabric buildings are durable and can withstand corrosive environments. They can be custom manufactured to meet the snow and wind load requirements of any location.

With minimal foundation requirements, the structures can be mounted on containers for high clearances, making them ideal for use as ship maintenance facilities.

Durable enough to serve as permanent facilities, cost-effective fabric buildings are also ideal for use as temporary facilities. They are easy to relocate from port to port, as storage needs change. Fabric structures are generally available in widths up to 300’ and in any length, and have no interior support posts to get in the way of equipment operations or storage systems. 18

Abundant natural light filters through the covers of these buildings, limiting the need for daytime artificial lighting. With no interior lights needed during the day, users will experience reduced energy costs.

2011 Issue VI

Port Projects Awarded $62 Million in TIGER III Infrastructure Grants


S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced that 46 transportation projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico will receive a total of $511 million from the third round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s popular TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants program. The Department of Transportation received 848 project applications requesting a total of $14.29 billion. Four of the 46 capital project funding requests selected for awards go directly to America’s port-related infrastructure, totaling $62,238,246, or about 12 percent of the total $511,423,147 in capital grant funds available. Millions more go to projects that indirectly aid the efficient movement of goods to and from America’s seaports. “DOT Secretary LaHood has indicated on numerous occasions the value and importance of seaport-related infrastructure to America’s overall transportation system and our nation’s competitiveness in global trade,” said American Association of

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Port Authorities President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “We applaud this recognition of the critical role our nation’s ports play and the federal support in TIGER III for seaports.” Mr. Nagle added, “Considering the vast number of applications submitted for the relatively small pot of money available, we recognize there was a lot of competition for the limited funds. However, we will continue to advocate for a 25 percent share of future TIGER grants, which we believe is the appropriate amount since port infrastructure investments are one of the four eligible areas (along with highways/bridges, transit, and freight/passenger rail) for the program.” Since the program’s inception as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, AAPA has been a strong supporter of the TIGER multimodal discretionary grant program. In the first round of TIGER grant awards, port-related infrastructure projects received only 8 percent of the original $1.5 billion. In the second round of grants, port-related infrastructure did better, garnering approximately

17 percent of the total $556.6 million in capital grant funds available. There are a number of TIGER III awarded projects that address key congestion points along main rail lines, inland port facilities and highway trade corridors. These will also have a positive impact on freight mobility and the movement of goods to and from America’s seaports. Included in the TIGER III awards is the Port of New Orleans. Rail yard improvements worth $16,738,246 will rebuild a specialized Port of New Orleans rail yard at the Louisiana Avenue terminal along the Mississippi River. The overall project has two components: construction of a new 12-acre freight rail intermodal terminal; and resurfacing and fortifying a 4-acre storage yard that is used for ultra-heavy project cargoes. The project’s objective is to reduce congestion, facilitate the movement of marine and rail cargo, stimulate international commerce and maintain an essential port asset in a state of good repair. IP


Smart Rivers 2011 a Resounding Success By Kelly J. Barnes

PIANC USA Deputy Secretary

Ingram Barge Company organized vessel tours one evening of the conference. Craig Philip, CEO of Ingram Barge, was the Smart Rivers Conference Chair. 20


early 300 of the world’s top professionals in all aspects of inland/river transportation gathered in New Orleans September 13-16 for the Smart Rivers 2011 Conference. Attendees came from more than 20 nations and included private sector, government, and academic participants. The conference included nearly 100 technical presentations on a diverse array of topics related to systems/technology; environmental management; safe operations; service design and innovation; public policy and finance; and infrastructure and network management. The main objective of the conference was to analyze the latest trends in policy, technology, and innovation in the field inland waterway transportation. The opening plenary focused on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Hurricane Surge Barrier in New Orleans, the largest surge barrier of its kind if the world. Later in the week, conference attendees had the opportunity to view the entire New Orleans Hurricane and Story Risk Reduction System, including the IHNC Surge Barrier, on a technical tour organized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans district. The luncheons featured keynote presentations by Mr. Roland Hoerner, President of the European Federation of Inland Port, who discussed the significant role of inland ports for hinterland 2011 Issue VI

The opening plenary focused on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Hurricane Surge Barrier in New Orleans, the largest of its kind in the world. COL Edward Fleming, Commander, New Orleans District, US Army Corps of Engineers, addresses the Smart Rivers attendees.

Reinhard Pfliegl, AustriaTech (L), and Jim McCarville, Port of Pittsburgh Commission (R), were honored as “founding fathers” of the Smart Rivers conference series. 2011 Issue VI


Smart Rivers 2011 had excellent support and participation from the industry, with more than 20 exhibitors and sponsors, and more than 20 cooperating organizations. Here Dinah McComas and Brian Tetreault, both from the USACE in Vicksburg, demonstrate the Lock Operations Management Application (LOMA).

transportation, and Mr. Felipe Menendez, CEO & President of Ultrapetrol Ltd., who discussed the long term prospects of the Hidrovia Region in South America. The conference ended on a high note with a closing plenary keynote address by RADM Roy Nash, Commander, 8th U.S. Coast Guard District; a discussion of the future of Smart Rivers by Geoffrey Claude, President of PIANC International; the signing of the Smart Rivers merger agreement; and a look ahead to Smart Rivers 2013. The Smart Rivers Conference organizers wanted to enhance the conference experience for Young Professionals (YPs) and students by providing them with opportunities to network with each other and industry leaders. There were several events organized especially for the YPs including a networking happy hour at the Red Fish Grill on the legendary Bourbon Street! Over 60 young professionals participated in the conference, and PIANC USA was able to provide travel scholarships to support seven students to participate in the conference. One

Young professionals and students had ample opportunity to network with industry leaders. Pictured here (L-R): Christoph Plasil, Via Donau (Austria), JĂźrgen TrĂśgl, Via Donau (Austria), and Helen Brohl, Committee on the Marine Transportation System (Washington). 22

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civil engineering student from the Technical University Budapest specializing in Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering remarked, “I had one of the best times of my life here! I loved the conference, the community, and all the helpful people.” The conference had excellent support and participation of the industry, with more than twenty exhibitors and sponsors, and more than thirty cooperating organizations. Industry participants such as Ingram Barge Company organized vessel tours, and there were technical visits to the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Center, the AEP River Operations fleeting operations center and Zennoh Grain facility in Convent, Louisiana. The main conference was preceded by workshops on Lock Operations Management Application; Sediment Management Solutions for Ports and Waterways; and Innovations in Navigation Lock Design. In addition, the American Society of Transportation and Logistics organized a full day Yangtze-Mississippi Rivers Forum to continue an ongoing dialogue between U.S. and Chinese private and public entities regarding the use of inland waterways. The next Smart Rivers Conference is scheduled to take place in Liège, Belgium, and Maastricht, The Netherlands, on September 23-27, 2013. Visit smart11. to review PowerPoint presentations from this year’s sessions and see more photos. IP

The conference banquet was held at the Southern Yacht Club, a private club located on the Shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Pictured here are Mr. Eric Van Den Eede (Belgium) former PIANC President, Mrs. Van Schel, Mr. Geoffroy Caude (France) PIANC President, and Mr. Louis Van Schel (Belgium) PIANC Secretary General.

Call for Abstracts Announced for Dredging 2012 A

re you interested in participating as a presenter at Dredging 2012 taking place in San Diego, CA October 22 — 25, 2012? The call for abstracts is now open. Dredging 2012 is set for San Diego in October. IP will be there. Will you?

The submission deadline is January 23, 2012. Visit abstracts.cfm for more information or to submit. Papers are not required. The theme of the conference is 40 Years of Dredging and Environmental Innovation. Topics will include: • State of Engineering Practice 2011 Issue VI

• Dredging Contracting and Management Innovations • Environmental Dredging (Remediation/Restoration) • Safety • Current Engineering Dredging Research • Integrating Dredging and Dredged Material Reuse with Environmental Restoration • Working with Nature • Site Characterization and Survey • Sediment Resuspension / Residuals • Sustainable Sediment Management • Dredged Material Management • Ports / Navigation – Case Studies (Coastal/Inland) • Regulatory Challenges and Solutions For more information visit http:// or contact us at or 703-428-9090. Promote Your Organization’s Products & Services at Dredging 2012

The excitement is building! It has been almost 10 years since our last dedicated conference on dredging and dredge material disposal. Dredging 2012 will be held October 22-25 in San Diego, CA. If your company provides goods and services related to any aspect of dredging and dredge material disposal you don’t want to miss this opportunity! We have put together a stellar agenda. More than 100 world class speakers are being recruited. More than 500 top buyers and decision-makers from the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia are expected to join us in San Diego for this must-attend event! Sign up as a sponsor or exhibitor today and take advantage of: •Affordable early bird discount rates •The best booth locations •All conference meals in the exhibit hall Visit for more information or to sign up. Questions? Contact Sponsor/Exhibit Coordinator La Rue Forrester at (410) 544-8515 or IP 23

Study Shows Port of Toledo Responsible for 7,000 Jobs and Billion Dollar Regional Economic Impact T

he Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation released a new Port of Toledo Economic Impact Study which indicates that the port generates nearly 7,000 jobs, and vessel and cargo activity creates more than $1 billion in economic impact. The Economic Impacts of the Port of Toledo study was undertaken by Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It looked at the effect of marine cargo activity at the Port of Toledo and throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System. The authors conducted hundreds of interviews and used various economic models to reach their conclusions. The study is based on another study re-


Collister Johnson, Administrator of The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

leased earlier in 2011 regarding the economic impact of Great Lakes Ports. “The results of the Economic Impact Study clearly

show the positive impact of our seaport’s operations to the northwest Ohio region,” said Paul Toth, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “Thousands of people are employed directly or indirectly as a result of Toledo’s robust cargo handling operations. This includes not only dock workers, but also jobs with railroad and trucking companies, steamship agents, freight forwarders and many others.” The report indicates nearly 7,000 jobs in Ohio are supported by cargo moving via the marine terminals located at the Port of Toledo. Personal income from those jobs measures at more than $558 million. Business revenue directly related to the cargo activity at the Port of Toledo adds up to more than $381 million and local purchases by individuals and businesses directly dependent on the seaport are close to $173 million. “The Port of Toledo plays an important role in the maritime commerce in Ohio and in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System,” said Collister Johnson, Administrator of The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC).

The Port of Toledo has specialized handling equipment and facilities, which further enhances the value of this unique shipping connection. Toledo’s port expansion, along with their recent investments in infrastructure and equipment are indicators of the Port Authority’s commitment to utilizing the Seaway to move North American products to customers around the world.” Also unveiled today were two new locomotives purchased by Midwest Terminals of Toledo for the purpose of internal switching. The locomotives compliment other significant equipment acquired to modernize operations at the Port of Toledo. Over the past two years the Port Authority has acquired two new Liebherr LHM 280 mobile harbor cranes, a new Mantsinen 200 material handler and a new dry bulk conveyor. The new Liebherr cranes are the only twin cranes of this type in operation at any U.S. Great Lakes Port and are also more fuel-efficient, using only 25% of the fuel expended by the previous cranes. The new Mantsinen 200 material handler is the largest of its type in North America. IP 2011 Issue VI

Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping Season Sails Toward a Positive Close A merican ports continued to post positive tonnage numbers as 2011 closed. The Seaway’s year-to-date total cargo shipments from March 22 to November 30 were 33 million metric tons, up 1.23 percent from the same period last year. “With only one of the big three commodities, coal, bettering last year’s pace by 22,000 metric tons, the year-to-date performance of other bulk commodities like petroleum products (up 80 percent), salt (up 32 percent), scrap metal (up 49 percent), and other general cargo like wind turbine components (up 50 percent), have kept this year’s Seaway tonnage on a par with 2010,” says Rebecca Spruill, Director of Trade Development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “Vessel transits are up 7 percent and, with an expected strong performance in December, we’re within striking distance of meeting a 2 percent increase in tonnage over last season.” The Port of Cleveland experienced a 60 percent jump in project cargo volume during the first 11 months of the year, largely as a result of the increase in movement of imported and exported machinery, and the Port’s first-time handling of a wind turbine from Europe. “We have worked diligently to ensure that companies throughout our region look to the Port as a cost-effective and capable partner in transporting their cargo around the world,” said David Gutheil, the Port’s Vice President of Maritime and Logistics. “We’re forecasting continued growth this year and next in our handling of project cargo.” The Toledo Port Authority saw an increase in iron ore ship-

ments for the month. “Tonnage at the CSX Iron Ore dock was up 28 percent over the same period in 2010. The terminal has handled over 4 million metric tons to date, marking its best season since 2008,” explained Joseph Cappel, director of cargo development at the Port. There were also increases in shipments of petroleum products and general cargo, up 118 percent and 30 percent respectively over the same time last year. Coal shipments, down at most Great Lakes ports, showed an uptick in Indiana. “Even with a month left in the shipping season, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled more cargo this year than any other year since 2006,” said Rich Cooper, CEO of the Ports of Indiana. “Our shipments of steel, coal, fertilizer, wheat, limestone, oil and road salt have all well-surpassed last year’s final totals. We were fortunate to have a spike in our coal business and handled nearly four times as much coal as we did in 2010. We’ve also had large volumes of barge shipments moving steel, fertilizer, grain, asphalt and project cargo within the Lakes and through the Mississippi River system to and from the Gulf of Mexico.” St. Lawrence Seaway shipments of iron ore and coke were up at 55 percent and 14 percent respectively compared to November 2010. Coal shipments totaled 410,000 metric tons in November, a 9 percent decrease from the same month last year. Total grain shipments for November were 1.4 million metric tons, down 13 percent from 2010. IP

BARGES: The Greener Way to Go Inland barges produce less carbon dioxide while moving America’s important cargoes.

Inland barge transportation produces far fewer emissions of carbon dioxide for each ton of cargo moved. Transport by rail emits 39% more CO2, and by truck emits 371% more CO2 compared to barges, according to a recent study by the Texas Transportation Institute.

Waterways Council, Inc. 801 N. Quincy St., Suite 200 | Arlington, Virginia 22203 703-373-2261 | 2011 Issue VI


Stark Joins IP’s Editorial Advisory Board

Inland Port Magazine is proud to welcome Jim Stark, Executive Director of the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association, to our esteemed Editorial Board. Stark was named Executive Director of the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association in July 2010. GICA’s mission is to ensure the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is maintained, operated and improved to provide safe, efficient, economical and environmentally-sound water transportation across Gulf coast states. Prior to joining GICA, Stark consulted on response and recovery operations associated with the Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and served as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistant Administrator, Gulf Coast Recovery Office in New Orleans. In that capacity, he acted as the Senior Executive Service leader of a professional staff overseeing Hurricanes Katrina and Rita recovery operations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Shortly after Katrina, he was an Operations/Logistics Coordinator for Titan Maritime LLC, providing support and expertise to Titan personnel and other salvors to plan and execute coordinated salvage operations for thousands of grounded, sunk and stranded vessels throughout the affected coastal areas in the wake of the hurricane. Stark, a retired US Coast Guard officer, served on active duty for 28 years in a number of key positions, including Chief of Staff, Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans; Chief, Operations Division, Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami, Florida; Commander, Coast Guard Group, Mobile, Alabama; and in various afloat and shore locations throughout the U.S. He earned a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from The National War College in Washington, DC, an M.B.A. from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Science from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. Jim and his wife, Elaine, have five children and live in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. Welcome aboard, Jim, we’re proud to work with you. IP

Award for St. James Stevedoring

The International Bulk Journal (IBJ) Awards have been announced and St. James Stevedoring, nominated in two categories, brought home the trophy as the 2011 Best Specialist Dry Bulk Port or Terminal with its innovative floating dock system. The award recognizes the facility for “how innovative design has increased flexibility, reduced costs and improved safety on the Mississippi River.” St. James is the first American company to ever win this award. “We are truly proud of the work put forth by the team responsible for putting together the NOLA Gateway facility. The group’s ability to think outside the box and implement a cost effective strategy while adding safety truly helped shape the success of the project” remarked Paul Morton, president. St. James Stevedoring is a leading mid-stream stevedore on the Lower Mississippi River that celebrated 26 years in business in October of 2011. IP


2011 Issue VI

Industry Notebook Let us spread your message! Email your port, company, or group news to us at The Steamboat New Orleans Bicentennial Celebration will be held January 28, 2012. The event will commemorate a moment that changed America and started a revolution. The Steamboat New Orleans was the first steamboat to descend the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans and changed America. The celebration, with the exception of the exhibition and cocktail reception, is open to the public. Tickets to the reception are available with a donation of $50 per person. Donations may be made with a reservation by January 24, 2012, or in advance. The event is hosted by the River Heritage Foundation, a non-profit public foundation chartered by the Propeller Club of the Port of New Orleans. The newly-formed Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA) is an alliance of businesses and industry engaged in river commerce along the Ohio River and its tributaries from approximately Ohio River mile 356 to 560 (the Port of Huntington, WV to Madison, IN). Eric Thomas, General Manager for Benchmark River and Rail Terminals, is CORBA’s Chairman of the Board. The mission of CORBA is to unite the river businesses and industry into a common voice in order to promote commerce, safety and security, environmental stewardship, and public relations concerning the Ohio River and its tributaries throughout the central Ohio River region. Thomas is joined on the CORBA board of directors by the following: Dave Hammond Jr (Vice Chairman), President, Inland Marine Services, Inc; Rob Carlisle (Treasurer), President, C&B Marine, LLC; Jeff Stewart (Secretary), Vice President, Cincinnati Barge and Rail Terminal, LLC; Bruce Bacon, President, Neptune Marine Survey and Services, Inc; Alan Bernstein, President, B&B Riverboats; Jeff Carman, Regional Sales Director, American Commercial Lines, LLC; Scott James, Vice President, Cincinnati Bulk Terminals, LLC; and Douglas Ruschman, In House Counsel, McNational, Inc. North America’s largest mariners’ service agency, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), held the 12th Annual River Bell Awards Luncheon in Paducah, KY on Thursday, December 8, 2011. The awards paid tribute to three individuals whose labors have significantly enriched America’s waterways. A crowd of 335 joined SCI’s River Bell Awards committee in commending the work of Joseph H. Pyne, Chairman & CEO of Kirby Corporation; Eddie Conrad; and RADM Mary E. Landry (ret), former Commander of the United States Coast Guard 8th District. SCI established the River Bell Awards in 2000 to recognize the contributions of an individual, company or organization to the inland maritime industry. This year, SCI’s awardees included frontrunners noted for improving the safety and security of the inland waterways as well as bringing public attention 2011 Issue VI

to America’s rivers. Proceeds from the Institute’s luncheon support SCI’s newly expanded program for the United States’ maritime workforce, Ministry on the Rivers and Gulf. Joseph H. Pyne, Chairman & CEO of Kirby Corporation accepted the River Bell Award. Pyne shaped a large tank barge operation and diesel engine services company, leading through emphasis on training and professional responsibility. In his introduction, David S. French, Chairman of SCI’s Board of Trustees, remarked, “His attention to safety and professionalism has effectively raised the bar for the entire industry.” Eddie Conrad received SCI’s River Legend Award, recognizing his unique business ventures on America’s inland waterways. In 1990, Conrad founded RV River Charters, a company whose specially-designed barges carried RVs on cruises in Louisiana and along the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers. Conrad spent a career trying to bring the American public closer to the rivers. SCI awarded RADM Mary E. Landry (ret), former Commander of the 8th USCG District, with the Distinguished Service Award. Landry retired this year after more than 30 years of service with the United States Coast Guard. Landry was the first woman to serve as Commander of the 8th District, a command covering twenty-six states, more than 1,200 miles of coastline and 10,300 miles of inland waterways. Throughout her tenure, Landry actively participated with maritime industry leaders to understand the needs, concerns and challenges faced in maritime transportation. The event officially unveiled the expansion of SCI’s Ministry on the River program to include to mariners in the Gulf of Mexico. The Institute’s fundraiser event brought in more than $165,000 The Port of Toledo recently named Andrea R. Price to its Board of Directors. Andrea currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for Mercy in Toledo, Ohio, a seven hospital health system in Northwest Ohio with more than 7,200 employees, 1,350 medical staff members and net revenues of nearly $900 million. She is responsible for the oversight of the organization including strategy, governance, physician integration and community partnerships. Andrea joined Mercy in the fall of 2009 as Chief Operating Officer, at which time she assumed responsibility for the operations and performance of Mercy’s seven hospitals. Scott Cooper, President of Crescent Towing and Executive Vice President of Cooper/ T. Smith, was sworn in as the newest member of the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. Cooper will serve a five-year term, succeeding Thomas D. Westfeldt, one of four Orleans Parish members on the regional Board, which governs Port operations in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.


Cooper oversees Crescent Towing, which operates a total fleet of 26 harbor tugs on the Lower Mississippi River, in Mobile, Ala., and in Savannah, Ga. Cooper also manages Cooper/ T. Smith’s midstream operations in Darrow, La. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans,” Cooper said. “I’m eager to help continue to grow the Port as it plans for the future and in turn help the city of New Orleans.” He comes from a family with strong roots in the maritime industry. Cooper/ T. Smith traces its history back to 1905, when Scott’s great-grandfather Angus Royal Cooper, who had worked on the docks in Mobile, started his own company. Later, the founding Cooper was joined by his son Ervin. Scott’s father, Angus II, and his uncle, David, helped build the company into the second-largest stevedoring firm in the United States. Today, the fourth generation of Coopers, including Scott, his brother Angus III and his cousin David Jr. are leading the company into the future. “Mr. Cooper has a wealth of hands-on experience of maritime operations and a great sense of understanding of the trends in the industry along the Gulf Coast and around the world,” said Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “The Port of New Orleans will profit from his leadership, and we are happy to welcome him to the Board.” Cooper is married to Sadie M. Cooper. He has three children Ryan J. Cooper, Scotty H. Cooper and Catherine Currie Cooper. Boatracs, a leader in providing integrated satellite communications and software solutions to the maritime industry, has launched two new products: a fleet management software platform called Boatracs BTConnect, and its next generation tri-mode data communications system from Qualcomm, the Mobile Computing Platform 200 Series, or MCP200. BTConnect is a web-based solution that integrates messaging and mapping functionality, providing access to fleet-wide data from anywhere on any device. With features such as route planning, custom landmarks and global map layers, BTConnect ties together the critical functions of visually managing a fleet with two-way messaging to improve dispatching, accelerate invoicing and increase operational efficiencies. Boatracs completed a beta program for BTConnect earlier this month. “Over a dozen of our customers participated in the beta program representing fleet sizes from 1 to 100 vessels,” said Irwin Rodrigues, President and CEO of Boatracs. “The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with specific praise for not only the ease of access from mobile devices, but also the ease of managing vessels from a display that combines mapping and messaging in a very efficient and powerful manner. We are in the process of migrating all of the beta participants to BTConnect now, and have already signed on new customers to the product.” The MCP200 is a multimode data communications system that delivers two-way messaging and positioning through satellite, cellular and Wi-Fi. Featuring a compact design that uses either a slide-out keyboard or a color touch screen, the MCP200 can be used for free-form or structured messaging and has multiple data ports to connect peripherals such as a compact scanner to send critical documents to shore. The MCP200 offers higher output at faster 28

speeds for the same cost-effective price as previous versions of Qualcomm’s narrowband satellite data communications systems. PortVision’s new SmartOps Fleet Management System extends the benefits of the company’s AIS-based vessel-tracking system to provide an enterprise resource management system and automate a comprehensive range of unit tow business processes. “SmartOps enables fleet owners and operators to increase revenue, reduce costs and create tighter and more efficient customer relationships,” said Dean Rosenberg, PortVision chief executive officer. “It is the only system tailored to the specific business processes of liquid cargo marine transportation, and incorporates valuable best practices for improving productivity and efficiency while eliminating paper, reducing errors and minimizing labor. Perhaps most importantly, SmartOps enables unit tow fleet operators to collaborate with their customers not only on traffic updates and other realtime logistics, but also on complex invoicing and regulatory reporting so they can speed approvals while minimizing discrepancies and distractions associated with billing and compliance requirements.” The SmartOps Fleet Management System builds on the foundation of the company’s award-winning PortVision platform, which has been adopted by more than 2,000 users including most inland marine fleets and every major oil company. The US Coast Guard launched its third Sentinelclass, Fast Response Cutter, the William Flores, at Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La. The launch of the William Flores into the waters of Bayou Lafourche marks a production milestone as the Fast Response Cutter readies for sea trials, delivery, crew training and eventual commissioning. “The Coast Guard’s new Fast Response Cutters are national assets, unique to the United States and uniquely equipped to respond to all threats and all events in times of crisis,” said Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, chief of media relations for the U.S. Coast Guard. “The Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. Armed with a 25-mm chain gun and four, .50 caliber machine guns, the speed, stability and firepower of the Fast Response Cutter deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package. Like the Island-class patrol boats the Fast Response Cutters replace, the fleet of 58 Sentinel-class cutters will serve as the workhorses of America’s littoral, maritime fleet.” Green Marine announced that the terminals owned by the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), Cliffs Natural Resources–Eastern Canada, Pointe-Noire division, and Esso have joined its environmental program, while Aluminerie Alouette is also becoming a member in the “partner” category. This makes Canada’s Sept-Îles Port Authority (SIPA) the first port in North America with all its partners, including terminals and users, participating in the Green Marine environmental program. Green Marine is a voluntary environmental program for the Canadian and American marine industry with over 140 members, including over 60 participants (ship owners, ports, terminals, and shipyards). The Port of Sept-Îles has a long track record

on sustainable development. It worked with the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council to draft the environmental policy that led to the creation of Green Marine. “The Port of Sept-Îles has always cared deeply for the environment, and considers the environmental implications at the outset of major developments projects,” said Pierre D. Gagnon, President and CEO of the Sept-Îles Port Authority. “Convincing all Port users to join Green Marine shows that the whole marine industry is committed to achieving environmental excellence.” Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) announced the dates of its 2012 Washington Meetings. February 14-16, 2012 will feature the Waterways Seminar and the Leadership Service Award Dinner. All events will take place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC. IP

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Inland Port 2011 Issue 6  
Inland Port 2011 Issue 6  

Covering the US inland waterways and port industries.