Skip to comments.Bottled-Up River Prevents Ships From Reaching Gulf (rail, truck, barge - diverting to new ports)
Posted on 09/02/2005 3:18:39 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
...And they may see an increase in coffee prices. New Orleans, one the nation's biggest coffee ports, holds about 8% of the world's supply, and coffee industry experts predicted that the loss of the tens of thousands of tons stored there would take a year to replace. Coffee contracts have risen 11% this week in New York trading.
...One major impediment to reopening the port is the lack of workers, LaGrange said, because many port employees have left the flood-ravaged city. In addition, railroads that serve the port were still having to route trains around New Orleans because of damage to tracks and rail bridges.
While they wait for the Louisiana ports to reopen, shipping companies are turning to other ports and rail routes as alternatives to the river.
Some agricultural products and another Mississippi mainstay, coal, will move onto railway cars, straining capacity and pushing shipping prices up, analysts and companies said.
Much of the coal is expected to head for Baltimore, said broker Dan Vaughn of United Power Inc., because that city's port has some of the specialized equipment and facilities that were in place at storm-damaged ports.
"Railing to Baltimore is exactly what they're looking at," Vaughn said.
Coal prices have risen as dealers factored in new travel expenses for domestic producers and the loss of imports coming up the Mississippi.
Trucking companies won't gain much because most bulk commodities aren't worth shipping that way. It takes 60 semi-trucks to haul what fits on a single barge.
The largest port set to gain from diverted traffic is Houston.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Yep, I see a bright future for the Port of Houston and Galveston both....
I don't give a damn about $6.00/gallon gas prices, but COFFEE!!!!
I bought some yesterday. I should have stocked up.
I guess any port is vulnerable.
A good lesson.
Just when I was going to switch my hybrid from gasoline to coffee. Wouldn't you know it?
One of the things that let the Port of Houston really prosper was the destruction of port facilities at Galveston after their Great Storm.
Ports being at the water are vunerable. What NO had going for it was a broad expanse of navigable river, rail lines, barge traffic, and being the last major place on the Mississippi draainage.
Probably, after they get the ship channels cleared, it will go back to being an important port (you don't need a lot of city. You need warehouses, road and rail connections, and a place for the barge and ship traffic to tie up to) because of the geography of how it's easier to get goods down river and out. The lands near the river are above sea level. A lot of stuff on the other side of the river faired quite well.
But it will lose business. And some of that business will never come back because there are alternatives.
KAC, that's how I see it-- there's a good case to be made for rebuilding the Port of New Orleans. However, it's my opinion that the city is dying while we watch, and not worth rebuilding- at least not in the same vulnerable area.
A side note? I read ( but have not confirmed ) that NO was our only supertanker hub. If so, that's a little crazy-- it seems to me we need at least one on each coast, plus the Gulf of Mexico.
We don't need any choke points.
The hub is offshore, so tankers didn't have to come into port. But it was the only one of it's type.
Seeing what's going on in New Orleans, I think maybe it's a great thing that it'll never be the same again.
I do suspect that the old, high parts of the city will continue to be kept, just because they aren't that damaged (unless they get burned down.)
But will New Orleans be the jewel? I bet it's now BR's turn to shine.
Exactly- when I was involved in counterterrorism many years ago, 60% of our oil came through the Gulf, and that was why Castro ( who was a Soviet proxy ) was fomenting revolution in Central & South America-- to draw a noose around the Gulf.
We need more diversified ports-- concentrating any major resource in one location is suicidal.
I vaguely recall it being "somewhere offshore"-- thanks for the clarification.
I can certainly see salvaging some of the historic parts- as for the rest, three to six months ( probably more ) of being partly or wholly submerged in brackish water will render the point moot. All the wiring and much of the piping will be ruined, and as far as structural integrity goes, who knows? Even steel, masonry, and concrete don't do well in water unless primed and sealed for it. It's going to be a bloody mess.
So much of New Orleans has been destroyed (or was in the process of being consumed) by termites, I'm surprised so much of it is still standing.
The more I read and listen, the more I'm jumping
on the Idea Wagon that building a new port OUTSIDE
the hurricane zone makes more sense than trying to
salvage and rebuild NO. For the folks living down
there such a measure would be a staggering emotional
crisis (as if they're not at that point now).
But to rebuild and be under the constant threat of
Mother Nature repeating her violence in the same
area makes no sense.
As for the homeless...that idea of each Church
community sponsoring one family is a great one.
I know the members of my Church would be more
than willing to transport a family to our community,
get their kids settled into our schools, provide
housing and guarantee Dad/Mom a job. We've done
it before several times.
That's how I see it. If my neighbor's house washed away in a flood, I'd certainly help him rebuild it-- but not in the same location.
A whole lot of the infrastructure is still there...miles of wharf and warehouse...expect that will stay used, because one doesn't reinvent the wheel. But I would move my headquarters further upstream, I believe.
This is what will also hamper getting the refineries back up and running.
It appears it was the only one currently in operation, but some may have just come online a few months before the hurricane and others are going through the application process to get a license.
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