Monday, 15 April 2013

U.S. Shipping Industry Needs $30 Billion to Make Upgrades

There is no disputing the fact that the United States is facing a difficult challenge to manage their economy.. If they don’t make the right investments at this crucial time in history, they may as well look forward to an even more dismal economic future. Right now, the global economy is surging ahead and growing, mainly as a result of the world’s new emerging consumer markets that are rising in numbers and strength. The United States has to be careful if it doesn't want to lose it’s competitive advantages when the new more-inclusive global economy kicks into high gear, in the next few years.

While over 140 countries and regions around the world are investing trillions of dollars collectively upgrading their transport infrastructures, the U.S. has been quite slow to follow suit. The reason is, the country simply doesn't have the money required to do what is needed, to put America in the best competitive position on the current global economic stage. There have been studies that show that there is a shortfall of at least $30 billion, that is needed to modernize shipping ports and this fact has many port communities worried.

Once the Panama canal Expansion is complete sometime in 2015, there will literally be fleets of the new giant post-panamax container vessels sailing the world’s oceans. Ports that are unable to accommodate their huge size will inevitably be passed by. Right now, only a handful of U.S. ports are capable of handling the massive ships and unless more ports are upgraded in the future, the United States will most definitely be in a weak competitive position. The dynamics of the global economy is changing and the United States, once the main driving force behind it, are finding it difficult to keep up in the last few years.

In most port communities and regions, their port is the main economic stimulant. They create thousands of good jobs, contribute millions to local and state taxes and in many instances, generate billions of dollars to the local and surrounding economy. If the ports are not capable of handling the new super container vessels of the future then all these economic benefits could be lost, leaving these port regions in a worst state than they are currently in. If the United States wants to make the kind of investment decisions that give investors a good reason to invest in the future of the industry, then they must find a way to shore up their ports so they can compete, or else face closing up the ports and watch their economic future sail right on by.

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