According to the Panama Canal’s chief executive officer, Alberto Aleman, there is no need to deepen more than one port on the Atlantic Coast of the U.S.
“Two deeper, wider ports along the US Eastern seaboard and one in the Gulf coast should be enough to handle the growth in traffic, instead of the approximately 13 port expansions now underway, Aleman said in an interview in Panama City.”
Norfolk, Virginia is already deep enough — that leaves one.
We have said all along that the federal government is being asked to pick a winner in this competition for federal dredging funds. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Economic Analysis for the Savannah Harbor Dredging claims that all ports on the U.S. Eastern seaboard will expand. This presumes a ludicrous waste of federal dollars rather than a balanced choice based on the reality of economic need.
If it is going to be just one, it needs to be the right one, not the first one. As Panama Canal CEO Aleman says “The East Coast has many ports, and the large container ships are not going to stop at every one of them.”
The case for the Savannah deepening, as prepared by the Corps of Engineers, does not reflect this reality.