Los Angeles: Without big investment in the country’s maritime infrastructure, US ports could be facing permanent decline in business, warned Federal Maritime Commission chairman Mario Cordero at the 2015 Legal Ports Conference in Long Beach, California.
Cordero said the congestion of recent months was less down to the labour dispute on the US west coast and more because of a new constantly growing model of how cargo is being delivered.
“Congestion has been a problem long before labor negotiations … and will continue to be a challenge,” Cordero said. In particular he referenced the increase in the number of megaships.
The vast ships dump much bigger cargo loads causing the clogged terminals and backed up trucks that have become familiar sights. If left unchecked the congestion problem could cost the ports dearly because customers would seek alternative means of transportation.
Funding for the nation’s maritime-related infrastructure, such as dredging and bridge building, is needed to accommodate the bigger ships, Cordero told the conference, a one-day gathering to discuss international trade, admiralty law and import-export regulations.
The Federal Maritime Commission is an independent federal agency, responsible for the regulation of ocean-borne international transportation of the US.