New Rail Projects Run to Ports

Posted : 11/8/12 8:45 AM

Railroads and ships work well together in providing efficient, economical means for moving goods. Railroads are the cheapest form for overland transport, while ships are the most cost effective means for transporting goods overseas. For this reason, the growing volume of global trade has prompted many countries into building new ports and expanding old ones while also undertaking the task of constructing railroad lines to service the ports. Australia is building a new deep water port along its west coast to facilitate development of its mineral resources. The Okajee Port and Rail project will haul coal, iron ore, and other bulk materials in vast quantities from the Australian interior to the coast. The material will then be loaded onto bulk carriers destined for Japan, China, and other growing regional economies anxious for the material. The Mitsubishi Corporation is the lead contractor for the project, reflecting how closely this project is tied into the Japanese economy as a whole. A new rail project in Los Angeles is designed to ease up the congestion caused by thousands of trucks lining up to load and unload their containers at the Port of Los Angeles – Long Beach complex. The rail line will eliminate the need for thousands of short haul truck trips moving containers a short distance to nearby rail yards. Not only will this make the port run more efficiently, it will also significantly reduce air pollution, an important consideration given the requirements to meet higher air quality standards in the future. The Port of Shanghai has been under continuous expansion for decades. It is the most critical center for China’s continuing domination of global trade. This would not be possible without the recent additions of new rail lines that reach to the north and west allowing the port to export goods made throughout this huge country. Shanghai also benefits from being at the terminus of the Yangtze River, China’s largest. The port receives much cargo by river barge, but the bulk of it comes in by rail. Holland has long depended on a large volume of trade to sustain its economy. Rotterdam continues to rank foremost in exports among European ports because the city continues to modernize the harbor’s transit capabilities. New rail facilities quickly shift goods from rail cars to ships. The city can process cargo more quickly than most others due to the interlinking of rail lines and shipping.