North American Port Analysis

North American Port Analysis: Biggie-Size It

KC Conway examines the implications of the Panama Canal expansion on North American ports

North American Port Analysis

An increasingly global supply chain and the movement of container ships approximately three times the size of those making passage through the canal today will bring major changes to North American ports and inland transportation systems. Other factors in addition to the Panama Canal expansion have converged to make the ports an even more critical concern for the U.S. and Canadian economies and industrial real estate markets.

Key point for Canada: CN Rail has a Class I rail connection from Prince Rupert Port Authority to Mobile, Alabama (Port of Mobile), which is one of the biggest deep water ports, and is the only connection between Canada/Northern Pacific Coast and the Gulf Coast. This allows Asian shippers to bring cargo and containers to the Central U.S. without paying various taxes or use of the ILA union dock labour. This connection is growing in importance as Mobile and Prince Rupert are considered among the faster-growing ports in North America. 

What are the top priorities for North American ports?

  • Post-Panamax readiness
  • Expansion of intermodal capabilities and infrastructure
  • Ability to support duel-fuel LNG vessels

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