Seaports Magazine - Spring 2016 - (Page 10)

» COVER FEATURE PORT TO MARKET: BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE TO MEET DEMAND By Jim Romeo B efore the Port of San Diego drafts its master plan, it will have spent three years analyzing and investigating data from multiple sources. This includes public outreach, over 100 interviews with stakeholders and agencies and numerous public workshops and board meetings that culminated at the end of 2015. Its findings, which it calls its "framework report," will be used to assess demand and write a master plan for the 6,000 acres of land and water within its jurisdiction. A successful transportation infrastructure depends on a healthy seaport infrastructure. The right infrastructure requires an accurate forecast of market demand. Then this demand must be translated into a master plan for execution. It all sounds simple, but many challenges are found along the way. The Port of San Diego, like many ports across the United States, must build infrastructure to meet the demand for transportation services it provides in order to move the economy forward. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the United States can expect a 45 percent increase in the nation's freight by 2045. In order to achieve this, port infrastructure and the supporting supply chain must be modern and capable. The Master Plan: Getting A Grip On Demand In today's environment, many forces influence demand forecasting. Global economics, demand for natural resources, import trends and many 10 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE other factors influence expansion and contraction plans. A strong port is a precursor for a strong local economy. For most ports, staying vigilant of cargo demand is an ongoing effort. Getting a grip on this demand is challenging. "We stay in regular contact with our customers and vendors such as stevedores and agents - discussing ongoing operations, any issues that may have arisen, and opportunities to improve," explains Pete Grossgart, marketing manager for the Port of Stockton in Stockton, California. "Discussions usually involve tonnage projections and new cargo opportunities, as well as operational issues. As an operating port, much of our staff is regularly involved with customers, so the Port of Stockton 'touches' many of our larger customers daily." Philip Sanfield, a spokesperson for the Port of Los Angeles, describes a similar process. For short-term forecasts, up to 18 months, the port communicates closely with its container terminals and shipping lines, as well as examining a range of economic forecasting data. Based on information gathered, the port makes internal forecasts for cargo. This information supplements its longer range planning and forecasting. "We do our long-term infrastructure planning based on long-term cargo forecasts, which are done every 5-10 years for [Port of Los Angeles] POLA and Port of Long Beach jointly by outside consulting firms," explains Sanfield. "They project long-term demographic and economic growth for the U.S. and its trading partners, to The Port of Los Angeles bases its long-term infrastructure planning on long-term cargo forecasts, which are done every 5-10 years.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Spring 2016

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Port to Market: Building Infrastructure to Meet Demand
Turning on the Funding Tap
Seaports Maintenance and Modernization
Do Ports Know What’s Coming?
Surface Transportation System Enables Economic Prosperity
Dredged Material Disposal: 5 Ways to Expedite Federal Approval
The Importance of Infrastructure in the Cruise Industry
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Spring 2016