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
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
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
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
• essels drafting too deep for their destination terminal were
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
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
aaPa seaPorTs MagaZine
• he Houston Pilots established a requirement that vessels
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
• he channel was generally maintained at its design depth of
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.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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