Seaports Magazine - Winter 2015 - (Page 10)

» COVER FEATURE EXPANDING CAPACITY, INCREASING BUDGETS Carbon steel slabs unloaded at Pinto Terminal at the Port of Mobile. Today's ports are faced with finding the funds to finance projects that meet a global demand. By Sandy Smith I deas to better serve customers, to bring new opportunities to the region's economics or to expand into new lines of business are certainly there. But without access to capital, projects large and small will remain on paper. If the building projects at North American ports are any indication, today's port leaders have found creative ways to find the funds. They have done so with the understanding that capital planning for projects requires a bit of prescience and an ability to predict port capacity, foreign exchange rates and the global economy. Oh, and to make those predictions with accuracy over a 20-year period. "We run out our modeling," said John Reinhart, CEO of the Port of Virginia. "At 4 percent, what would the volume growth be? If it grows based on the last three years, that becomes eight percent and you're more than doubling your port volume, even on a conservative basis. How do you figure out Portsmouth Marine Terminal at the Virginia Port Authority. 10 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE how to fund and build the infrastructure that you can build today?" The Port of Virginia contracted with the College of William & Mary to make economic projections in 2006 and again in 2013. The economic impact looked at the regional job and infrastructure demands. "We are now 10 percent of the economy of Virginia because this port exists," Reinhart said. "If you use economic modeling, 375,000 jobs were in Virginia because the Port of Virginia exists. If we do another 1 million containers, that number goes to 500,000. You have to look at it from a lot of different lenses." Understanding the economic impact - and the all-important jobs generated - can be a powerful argument to draw government investment. At the U.S. federal level, the TIGER discretionary grant program gave a significant boost to transportation projects when Congress dedicated a total of $2.1 billion to fund projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. But that pie was sliced among other rail, road and transit efforts. The Alabama State Port Authority received a TIGER grant a few years back, but the grants "are difficult to get," said Jimmy Lyons, director and chief executive. While government investment is certainly an important component of funding, it is far

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Winter 2015

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Expanding Capacity, Increasing Budgets
Navigating Cities, Counties and States
104th AAPA Annual Convention
Strategically Planning for Success
Stick to the Plan
AAPA XXIV Latin American Congress of Ports
Guarding Our Nation’s Ports Against Potential Threats
Keys to Success for Port Capital and Financial Planning
Port Game an Educational Tool – and Fun for All Ages
Port Planning and Investment Toolkit a Go-To Resource
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Winter 2015