Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Friday, February 20, 2015

LA’s Ports: More to Fear Than a Work Stoppage

http://citywatchla.com/8box-left/8489-la-s-ports-more-to-fear-than-a-work-stoppage

By Kay Martin, February 20, 2015


 










 As you read this, shipping bound for the US is anchored and rotting off our coast.

LEANING RIGHT-Mexico's government is preparing the largest infrastructure project in the nation's history, a $4-billion seaport at Punta Colonet that could transform this farming village into a cargo hub to rival the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. 

If completed as planned the port will be the linchpin of a new shipping route linking the Pacific Ocean to America's heartland. Vessels bearing shipping containers from Asia would offload them on Mexico's Baja peninsula, about 150 miles south of Tijuana, where they would be whisked over newly constructed rail lines to the United States. 

The trucking and shipping will be done by Mexican contractors. 

"All the major players …  they'll be here," said a confident Rodriguez Arregui, who is overseeing the selection process. 

The prospect of billionaires duking it out over this remote stretch of Baja underscores just how lucrative the movement of goods between Asia and North America has become. About 30 million containers crossed the Pacific last year, a flow that had been increasing by about 10% annually for more than a decade until recently. And, though transpacific trade has slowed because of weakness in the U.S. economy, experts said those figures would continue to grow over time. 

With the West Coast's largest port complex, LA-Long Beach, constrained by urban development and environmental regulations and endless labor issues,  shippers are searching for alternatives. 

Punta Colonet has emerged as an attractive option. It's close to the United States. It possesses a wide, natural harbor. And it's located in a rural, lightly populated area offering almost unlimited room for expansion. 

"In the long run … it could get to the size of Long Beach-LA," which last year handled 15.7 million containers combined. "Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest green-field projects ever to be done" in the industry. 

The plan is nothing if not ambitious. Punta Colonet would be the first major seaport built in North America in nearly a century. When completed, the port will be the linchpin of a new shipping route linking the Pacific Ocean to America's heartland. Vessels bearing shipping containers from Asia would offload them here on Mexico's Baja peninsula, about 150 miles south of Tijuana, where they would be whisked over newly constructed rail lines to the United States. 

Panama is also in the midst of a $5.3-billion expansion of its landmark canal. Canada, whose coast is the shortest sailing distance from Asia, is looking to capitalize on that advantage with $3 billion in port and rail improvements to speed cargo to the United States. 

Panama is in the midst of a $5.3-billion expansion of its landmark canal. Canada, whose coast is the shortest sailing distance from Asia, is looking to capitalize on that advantage with $3 billion in port and rail improvements to speed cargo to the United States. 

The enlarging of the Panama Canal will allow any ship in the world to use it. 

Ports along the West, East and Gulf coasts of the U.S. have begun their own upgrades. So has Mexico's own Puerto Lazaro Cardenas on the Pacific Coast of the state of Michoacan. 

Right now Southern California is in a ‘chicken little’ mode and nothing getting done other than report generation will result in nothing accomplished. This in turn will result in the loss of millions of dollars worth of business and of thousands of jobs. 

The west coast of the United States has finally done something to counter these threats from Mexico and Panama. 

Wait just a minute. We have finally done something. We have shut down all US west coast ports.