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Port Congestion a Growing Problem

Port congestion can be compared to the sort of stop and go conditions that take place when too many cars crowd onto a single stretch of road. Traffic slows, the line of cars keeps backing up further. Everyone’s time is wasted. The same thing happens with ships in ports that are congested. They have to line up and wait for a spot to open where they can dock and unload their cargo. Ports have more limitations than highways, however, when it comes to congestion. They cannot simply expand to accommodate more ships the way highways can handle more cars. Creating more docking space will not help if the cranes and the crews that operate them do not also increase at a similar rate. The bottleneck may lie in inadequate access roads or rail lines to move freight in and out of the port. Lack of warehouse space seldom seems to be the problem, but numerous other infrastructure shortfalls can be involved. Port congestion can be temporary in nature if a calamity of some sort has affected the port’s normal operation. Storms and other weather events can damage the facilities, which will slow cargo handling until repairs are completed. Industrial accidents… read more »

New Rail Projects Run to Ports

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… read more »