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January 6 2020

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Januar y 6 2020 | The Journal of Commerce 43 www.joc.com ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK 2020 Maritime 840,000 TEU and space to increase to 1.5 million TEU — to be com- pleted in 2021. The port also plans to complete the site selection process in 2020 for a second container terminal to be located downriver from the present terminal. The Port of Mobile is also focused on expanding its only container terminal, APM Terminals Mobile. The port completed the construction of an additional 20 acres of yard space in September and in February 2020 expects to complete the extension of a dock from 2,000 feet to 2,400 feet, allowing two post-Panamax vessels to be worked at once. If cargo volumes continue to increase at the current rate, the port is also planning to add 35 acres next to the existing terminal for con- tainer storage, perhaps starting this year, said Brian Harold, managing director for APM Terminals Mobile. With five container services, including three connecting Mobile with Asia, the port received a boost in August 2018 when Walmart opened a new 2.6 million-square-foot inter- national distribution center (DC) in Irvington, Alabama, 15 miles from the port. Asian imports into Mobile grew 33 percent through September, the PIERS figures show. The port also expects to see cargo increase from the nearby construc- tion of a 300,000-square-foot MTC Logistics refrigerated warehouse and the expansion of Hyundai's Montgomery, Alabama, automotive manufacturing facility, said Denson White, client services manager at APM Terminals. The US Army Corps of Engineers in September approved the port authority's plan to dredge Mobile's main channel from 45 feet to 50 feet, enabling vessels of 13,000 TEU to 14,000 TEU to call at the port. The $400 million project, which is expected to take three to four years, could begin in 2020 if the authority is able to secure the remaining $250 million still needed. The Alabama state legislature approved $150 mil- lion in the Spring for the dredging. email: Hugh.Morley@ihsmarkit.com twitter: @HughRMorley1 exports, which grew by 32.4 percent, helped in large part by the growth of the resin sector, as packagers and warehousers of synthetic resins have dramatically increased their produc- tion and exports. POHA is looking to secure private funding, as well as obtain federal funding more quickly than is normal, in order to complete a proj- ect that would widen the main chan- nel from 530 feet to 700 feet along an approximately 11-mile stretch of the waterway. The work would allow vessels of up to 13,000 to 14,000 TEU to transit even while there is a second vessel in the channel. Ric Campo, chairman of POHA, said in November that the chan- nel could be widened by 2030 if it follows the usual process of applying for federal funds. "That's unaccept- able for us here," Campo said in his annual state of the port address. By creating a public–private partner- ship, with less reliance on federal money, the port could widen the portion of the channel nearest the container terminal by 2024, he said. Bright future Growth in volumes through the Port of New Orleans was recently highlighted in a consultant's report — commissioned by the port — that predicted the port should be ready to handle cargo volumes that would increase by between 200,000 and 250,000 TEUs over the next five years. Throughput at New Orleans surged 18.4 percent to 328,979 loaded TEU in the first nine months of 2019, PIERS figures show. The port in September added its second direct service from Asia, a weekly loop operated by 2M Alliance part- ners Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., and Zim Integrated Shipping Services. To cope with future increases, New Orleans is midway through a $110 million expansion of its only container terminal, Napoleon Ave- nue Container Terminal, and expects by December to take delivery of four new cranes capable of handling vessels of 8,500 to 9,000 TEU. The port expects improvements to the terminal — which has a capacity of Replacement routes Mexico aims to offer viable alternatives to tight trucking market By Hugh R. Morley A NEW RAIL link that will make Mexico's Port of Veracruz the first in the nation served by two railroads and a new marine highway program for containerized cargo in 2020 will provide shippers with alternatives to the country's tight trucking market. The two port-related initiatives are part of Mexico's effort to improve cargo fluidity on land, which shippers say has been among the weak links in the country's logistics system in recent years as cargo volumes have increased. Capacity in the trucking sector, which carries about 80 percent of all cargo in Mexico, has tightened after the introduction of hours-of- service restrictions for truck drivers in August 2018. The restrictions exacerbated a capacity shortfall due to an existing driver shortage, and logistics executives say the tightness

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