Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 12

position you can't stand still. You need better technology, better visibility to be able
to move the cargo more quickly and more
cost effectively," Dolan added.
The Port of Los Angeles, for example, is
looking to improve its customers' efficiencies through a current project with GE
Transportation. They are creating a visibility tool that will consolidate data coming in
from various sources throughout the supply
chain - including customs, terminal and
line information - in one place. Customers
will be able to track, trace and monitor
their containers without having to visit a
number of different websites. "The Port
Authority has the ability to work with many
different partners and to create a community system that will benefit everyone
in the market place," said Chris Chase,
marketing manager.
Technology improvements will also be a
focus of the Port of Halifax, which is preparing for blockchain applications. In addition,
the port is looking at options for berthing and servicing two vessels over 10,000
TEU/400-meter length simultaneously.
At the Port of Long Beach, "Our commission has been very prudent with regard
to their fiscal restraint," said Cordero.
While the port invests quite a bit of money
in long-term projects, its managers are
also careful not to get overzealous. They

plan for the future as part of a balanced
investment.
"Economics is a cycle, so when we looked
at the experience of the Port of Long Beach,
we'd made the decision to invest and expand
before the 2008 recession and during that
2008 recession... We knew that the economy
would have ups and downs in the global community, but that leaders would continue to
invest in a very prudent fashion," he added.
The Port of Long Beach embarked on
its largest redevelopment project in 2008,
as the recession was well underway. Now
nearing completion, the Middle Harbor
Redevelopment Project includes the rehabilitation of two aging container terminals
into a state-of-the-art, green terminal. The
port will be able to move 3.5 million containers through this facility.

Looking Long Term
Ports would, of course, like to continue
their record-breaking performance in
2018, and many conditions appear favorable. The International Monetary Fund
recently revised its global economic growth
predictions upward for 2018 and 2019,
looking for 3.9 percent growth each year.
Shipping companies may also start to enjoy
some of the increased efficiencies they
expected after the bankruptcies, consolidations, mergers, takeovers and alliances

of the past few years. "Generally, the lines
are feeling optimistic," Nolan said.
But the dollar, while still strong, began
weakening in early 2018. That could
reduce U.S. imports but boost exports. In
addition, economists agree that sooner or
later the economy will slow down as part
of the normal economic cycle. "But In 2016
we were saying 2018 could be a slowdown;
we are now in the ninth year of a sevenyear cycle," Nolan added.
Ports can take some steps to protect
themselves from the next downturn.
"When we talk to ports, it's always to
encourage diversification if possible. Look
at potential other markets that you are not
serving at the moment, whether they are
geographical markets or commodities,"
Nolan said.
No matter how the economy performs,
ports that have mapped out their spending
for the next decade or so are likely to stick
to those plans.
"I think here in Long Beach we are comfortable in terms of the direction we are
going," Cordero said. He noted the port's
commitment to zero emissions operations
by 2035 and its continued emphasis on
improved operations. "We are moving to
maximize speed and efficiency. That's what
the consumer expects and that's certainly
what the American shipper expects." ●

BETTER YEARS AHEAD
While many U.S. ports were enjoying strong growth in 2017, Port
Fourchon in Louisiana had to explore some new business ventures
to keep the port's finances - and growth potential - afloat. Its primary customers are the companies that service the deepwater oil
exploration and drilling industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. A glut
of oil has significantly reduced that activity and, consequently, the
port's business.
"For the last three years we actually have been pretty slow," said
Chett Chiasson, the port's executive director.
Port Fourchon has been out of sync with other ports' cycles before.
"When everyone else was having a recession in 2008, we really didn't
have one; thing were still going well for us at that time because there
was still a lot of drilling taking place offshore," Chiasson explained.
But in 2010 a massive oil spill in the Gulf was followed by a six-month
drilling embargo. Then, in late 2014 and 2015, the price of oil dropped
sharply, which again reduced drilling and port activities.
Today, there are only 17 or 18 rigs drilling in the Gulf, compared
to 55 in 2013.
But Chiasson believes that Port Fourchon's growth rate will begin
to inch up again. In the fall of 2017, the port signed three new waterfront leases. "We are very excited about that; hopefully from there,
12

AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE

and with the price of a barrel of oil increasing and maybe stabilizing
at a higher rate, we will be looking forward to better years in 2018
and 2019," he added.
Port Fourchon is currently working on two projects that could
diversify the port's business and add some protection against oil
downturns. The first, in the initial pre-filing process, is a small LNG
facility that would serve a global power plant company interested in
exporting the fuel for its own facilities.
"While the LNG plant is still in the energy business, it is not
dependent on the price of oil, but on the price of natural gas," Chiasson
said. "As the market grows for LNG for fueling, it will always be
needed for export to other locations."
The second proposed project, now reaching the end of its study
phase, would give the port a 50-foot draft area, enabling them to
build service facilities for the repair and refurbishment of drilling
rigs and ships. If the port gains the necessary approvals, construction
could start at the end of 2018.
Despite its lean years, Port Fourchon is continuing with its plans
to develop its space and its capacities. "We have a positive outlook,"
Chiasson added. "We are constantly growing to meet whatever
demand is out there and to try to be ahead of the demand."



Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Business Boom: Ports Report Record-Setting 2017
One-Sided Investments – U.S. Ports Call for Federal Support of Long-Term Infrastructure Development
Ship Shape: Ports Navigate Their Niches to Find Their Areas of Expertise
Finding the Right Mix – A Latin American Port’s Perspective
Dredging Demands
Water Resources System Integral to Competitiveness of US Economy and Security
Port-Based Welfare Provision: It’s About Collaboration
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Intro
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - cover1
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - cover2
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 3
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 4
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 5
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - AAPA Headquarters
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 7
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - From the President’s Desk
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 9
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Business Boom: Ports Report Record-Setting 2017
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 11
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 12
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 13
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - One-Sided Investments – U.S. Ports Call for Federal Support of Long-Term Infrastructure Development
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 15
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 16
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 17
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 18
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 19
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Ship Shape: Ports Navigate Their Niches to Find Their Areas of Expertise
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 21
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 22
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 23
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Finding the Right Mix – A Latin American Port’s Perspective
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 25
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Dredging Demands
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 27
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 28
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 29
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 30
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Water Resources System Integral to Competitiveness of US Economy and Security
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Port-Based Welfare Provision: It’s About Collaboration
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 33
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - cover3
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - cover4
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - divider1
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - divider2
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 40
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 41
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 42
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 43
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 44
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 45
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 46
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 47
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 48
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2018 - 49
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