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May 12, 2014

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www.joc.com THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 31 @rupertport | www.rupertport.com RESPONSIVE. The Port of Prince Rupert has a proven ability to listen and respond to shippers' unique needs. Visit us at RILA in booth 410 to learn more about the advantages of North America's fastest-growing container gateway. JoC half-page ad Jan 22, 2014.indd 1 1/22/2014 8:48:53 PM LAST YEAR , I wrote a leng thy commentary for the JOC entitled "Port Wars: Past, Present and Future" in which I described the frenzy among U.S. ports as they prepare for the Panama Canal expansion. I refl ected upon a similar frenzy in the 1980s as ports clamored to be load centers, sucking in containers from near and far and sucking the life out of other ports. The situation today is made worse perhaps by the enormous waterside and landside costs to buy a seat at the mega-ship table, combined with the fact that, despite predictions to the contrary, the 1980s did not usher in an era of port rationalization. All the players are still here, and they're all still scram- bling for a larger share of a pie that may or may not be growing. The scramble has prompted a lot of emotion, especially as ports face constant competition from other ports or terminals a few miles down the road or across the water. The phenomenon isn't isolated to one region or coast. Consider the following: ● The Los Angeles 2020 Commission, citing declining market share of U.S. cargo at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, pro- posed that the nation's two largest container ports merge, combining efforts to compete better with ports in other regions. Long Beach did not receive the proposal well. ● In 1981, the Virginia Port Authority consolidated its three state-owned terminals under a com- mon operator, a nonprofi t operating subsidiary, to better utilize these assets against other ports, notably Baltimore, Charleston and Savannah. APM Terminals then threw a wrench in the works in 2007, opening one of the nation's most effi cient container terminals within the same harbor. The intra-harbor competition that was effectively extinguished in 1981 was reig- nited by a more robust competitor. Calm was restored three years later when APMT leased the terminal to the VPA for 20 years in the shadow of three unsuccessful bids to privatize J. Stanley "Stan" Payne LOVE THY NEIGHBOR COMMENTARY

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