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600451-00105-1 Report Abstract

Use of Containers to Carry Bulk and Break Bulk Commodities and Its Impact on Gulf Region Ports and International Trade

James R. Amdal and Marc Howlett, August, 2014

The overall objective of this study is to assess the impact of all-water Asian service on ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast due to the Panama Canal Expansion (PCE) and the resultant growth of the container trade in these ports. The potential impacts on coastal, river, and inland ports in Louisiana are also assessed as they all may be affected. However, to put these specific impacts in context, the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute (UNOTI) first investigated the impacts of the PCE on shipping services and coastal port infrastructure along both the east and west coasts of North, Central, and South America, as well as the Gulf ports. A detailed spreadsheet of port specific actions and expenditures made in anticipation of the expansion of the Panama Canal is included as Appendix A. Impacts on selected ports and commodities, both imports and exports, have also been assessed based on historic performance and informed speculation to the year 2020. Secondly, UNOTI assessed the impact of new shipping services calling on Gulf ports. The researchers investigated both import and export commodities shipped by container and determined which commodities can grow in Louisiana ports and/or what measures must be taken in order for this growth to occur. A select Project Advisory Board, representing a broad cross section of transportation leaders in Louisiana from both the public and private sector, was convened to review the findings of this research project.

Keywords: Containerized Break and Break Bulk Commodities, Gulf Coast Ports, Panama Canal Expansion

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 1.8 MB)