ALSO, FORECAST CALLS FOR “SLOW GROWTH” IN GLOBAL SHIPPING IN THE DECADE TO COME
The Port of Charleston’s new 52-foot depth – secured via a $300 million direct appropriation from taxpayers – won’t make the government-run facility any more competitive in the battle for global shipping business.
That’s according to Dr. Asaf Ashar, a port expert and research professor emeritus with the National Ports and Waterways Initiative (NPWI).
Asked whether the port’s much-ballyhooed dredging project would provide it with a competitive advantage over its east coast neighbors, Ashar had a blunt answer.
“Hardly,” he said.
Charleston used to be one of the nations’ top five ports. Now it barely ranks in the top ten. Meanwhile, the government that runs its facilities has totally squandered its chance to build a facility on the last, best deepwater port location on the eastern seaboard (in job-starved Jasper County).
Well, with a little help from S.C. governor Nikki Haley.
Anyway, according to Ashar the global competition for shipping business isn’t exactly heating up, either. We asked him to look into his crystal ball over the coming decade.
“My general forecast is for slow growth, following similarly slow growth in the U.S. (gross domestic product),” he said, adding that this downward pressure would be “exacerbated” by an uptick in the re-shoring of manufacturing jobs.
That’s consistent with what those in the manufacturing industry tell us, too.
“It’s interesting because as products and processes become more complicated and high tech, they’re coming back to the United States because it’s too expensive to do that kind of work overseas where you see a lack of that talent, and the process requires a whole another level of skills and education to produce the goods well,” one Palmetto State manufacturing expert told FITS.
Interesting stuff …
This website supported the dredging project … arguing that state government was at long last spending taxpayer money on something with a tangible economic benefit for the entire state (not a narrow handout to a specific business).
Were we wrong? Hmmm …
One thing we do hope: That the Jasper County project is permitted to leverage private investment, because it’s abundantly clear at this point South Carolina’s lack of prioritization on core functions of government is pretty damn dangerous.
I-26 used to be full of trucks hauling cargo containers. The loss of a large portion of that business has to be hitting the SC economy hard.
To be fair, a lot of those containers are probably on trains now.
Port traffic is way down
You are all fits’ sheeple, today. None of you have expresses any doubt about this article. Fits gives no link; Very selective quotes. You believe anything he says as long as it’s critical of SC.. The documented truth is in my posted comments.
Is “Bible Thumper” Bob McCallister?
Don’t know, but I didn’t enjoy the Simpson’s last night.
You don’t need to be Bob McCallister to know how to use Google.
Yeah, not so much: “The Port of Charleston handled almost 1.1 million cargo containers during the 2015 fiscal year. That’s the most since 2006 and was within reach of the all-time record of 1.13 million set in 1995.“ http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150715/PC05/150719571/1010&source=RSS
While I support the deepening project, it will NOT appreciably increase traffic but it will keep Charleston competitive for the traffic there is and it will ensure the channel remains open for a long time to come.
The major East Coast ports are as deep or deeper than Charleston’s will be after the dredging. Charleston isn’t really gaining any competitive advantage from this. They are just keeping up with the pack.
The people handling the really big money for SC–the Ports Authority, Santee Cooper and the Retirement System Investment Commission–have all performed like rookies. SC is being taken to the cleaners and there is nothing we can do about it.
All it is a Google search to find Dr. Asaf Ashar’s bias. He contradicts the above statements by acknowledging that Charleston will gain an advantage over Savannah. And he acknowledged that Corp of Engineers, who also have experts, disagree with him about Savannah not getting as deep a port as Savannah. This article is clearly meant to support Savannah at the expense of Charleston. I put key statements are in bold.
I have also found where Dr. Asaf Ashar has been and expert for Savannah, Miami and Palm Beach Harbor. He has also done other work for Florida and the Gulf Coast.
It’s interesting that the only mention of Charleston, SC is work for the Southern Environmental Law Center about a port in Haiti.
Shipping Expert and Port Planner, Northern Haiti Port Development Plan, for Southern Environmental Law Center, Charleston, SC, USA(2012).
Dr. Asaf Ashar speaks as if all port business is imports The “re-shoring of manufacturing jobs” trend for more skilled American workers provides opportunity for more exports. That is the real benefit of port deepening to South Carolina. GE, BMW, numerous tire manufacturers, and now Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans and Volvo are or will be using Charleston port facilities.
The port deepening is a selling point for further expansion of good paying jobs.
Wow, that must have been a big check from the Port of Jasper folks!
Is T-Davis the new T-Rav?