Seaports Magazine - Summer 2013 - (Page 28)

» guesT VieWPoinT TTi: costs of delaying channel Maintenance are high Research quantifies the direct economic impact of a lack of maintenance dredging at two Texas seaports, but the implications are far-reaching By C. James Kruse and Annie Protopapas, Ph.D., P.E. Texas A&M Transportation Institute T ypically, the value of investment in port infrastructure is demonstrated through positive economic impacts such as jobs, income and productivity. recently, the texas a&M transportation Institute developed an innovative approach to underline that value. this approach quantifies the monetary losses to port users that could result if port channels are not maintained to their authorized depths. Upon request from the ports of Houston and Corpus Christi, the institute conducted extensive interviews with port users and ran two types of data analyses based on public and private data. the economic impact estimated through these case studies underscores the critical importance of channel maintenance. the repercussions up and down the supply chain affect a wide swath of our economy. Methods are adaptable to any port channel and findings can aid in justifying budget requests for maintenance dollars. the first data analysis examined the direct economic impact due to vessel operational and loading limitations associated with channel maintenance at actual depth for actual vessel traffic during the base years for Houston only (2008 and 2009). the second analysis looked at the same types of economic impact, but it assumed a loss of 1 foot of draft for Houston and 2 feet for Corpus Christi from actual maintained channel depth. Potential Loss of Business in houston In Houston, five impact categories were identified as a result of the Houston Ship Channel not being maintained at its authorized depth: • ight loading of non-container vessels comprised most of the L economic impact and took place at berths with a maximum sailing draft less than the dock maximum depth. this resulted in an increase in shipping cost and/or unrecoverable left-behind cargo. • essels drafting too deep for their destination terminal were V required to do a partial discharge at Woodhouse terminal first, incurring the cost of a shift from Woodhouse to the destination dock (pilot and tugboat fees), drayage to the destination terminal and extra labor at Woodhouse terminal. • ecause of a lack of water depth, vessels drafting more than B 28 feet could not use the primary turning Basin until maintenance dredging was performed. Instead, vessels were required to turn in the secondary turning basin located across City Dock 26 (CD26). 28 aaPa seaPorTs MagaZine • he Houston Pilots established a requirement that vessels T drafting more than 39 feet could only transit the ship channel above (upstream) from the Shell oil docks during daylight hours. Vessels incur operating costs and dockage while waiting for daylight. • he channel was generally maintained at its design depth of T 40 feet in 2008-2009, and container ships were able to operate as planned, hence the only potential impact of a loss of 1 foot of channel depth from actual conditions was evaluated. It would affect outbound shipments as they tend to consist of higher density cargoes than inbound shipments. added costs at corpus christi the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CCSC) actual condition in 2010 was taken as the baseline. two categories of potential impact were identified with a loss of 2 feet of draft. • ight loading of non-container vessels – as in Houston – comL prised most of the economic impact. • eep draft rig movements were the second potential impact. D the most practical solution to any restrictions on a rig movement is to install flotation devices on the structures that run between the legs of the drill rig (“sponsons”) to lift it out of the water and facilitate movement along the channel. the associated reported cost is approximately $9.5 million, consisting of fabrication, installation, removal and disposal costs. Maintenance is of critical importance the magnitude of the direct economic impact resulting from a loss of only 1 foot of available draft at Houston or 2 feet at Corpus Christi suggests that a significant number of vessels utilizing the ship channels are already operating to the maximum degree allowed by current channel depth and that the cost penalties incurred by a single vessel can be substantial. these estimated economic impacts underscore the critical important for the monetary investment in channel maintenance – both today and in the future. ● C. James Kruse is director of the Center for Ports & Waterways at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. He can be reached at Annie Protopapas, Ph.D., P.E., is associate research engineer for Multimodal Freight Transportation Programs at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. She can be reached at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2013

AA PA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Sourcing Near and Far
Partnering at Home to Encourage Trade Growth
Cruise Info on the Go
Community Ties
AA PA Gathers in D.C. for Spring Conference
Washington Poised to be Leader in Global Economy
Creating Agile Supply Chain Networks in Today’s Fast-Changing World
TTI: Costs of Delaying Channel Maintenance are High
Improving Safety and Efficiency through PORTS®
Seaports are at the Forefront of Export Growth
ACE E-Manifest Enhances Sea and Rail Security
Port Metro Vancouver Smart Fleet Trucking Strategy to Drive Efficiency, Reliability
The Buenaventura Container Terminal Invests $3.5 Million in Cargo Verification System
RFID Tags Promote Growth, Efficiency at GPA
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Summer 2013