Yes I said 99% of the national financial media were sold out corporate whores but that does not mean there isn’t high quality business journalism happening folks. The trick is knowing where to look and today, as is often the case, it is on the front page of the local paper. Today Geoff Pender and Anita Lee examine the economics behind the Panama Canal expansion that includes a looksie at the shipping industry and the competition that ranks at the top of all the business stories I’ve read so far in 2012. The main reason for my enthusiasm is this piece has implications for every existing eastern port expanding in anticipation of the Panama Canal widening.
This snippet blows the political pump of these east coast harbor projects out of the water:
Daniel Yi, a spokesman for the port of Long Beach, Calif., notes shippers and rail services have invested billions in recent years in and around his port, one of the largest in the world.
“We don’t expect (canal expansion) to be a huge game changer,” Yi said. “…We just signed a $4.6 billion, 40-year lease with OOCL, one of the oldest Hong Kong-based shippers. I don’t think a carrier would have made a commitment like that if those guys saw a big change coming.”
John Lanigan is chief marketing officer for rail freight hauler Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which ships from West Coast ports to the Midwest and Southeast. He said freight specifically for East Coast destinations “is already moving all water,” and his company is not expecting a significant diversion.
This what seasoned investors would term high quality “due diligence”: Every talking point and assumption was examined critically and challenged. The process is not unlike the scientific method, now rejected in states like Louisiana that have dismantled their public education system to further the political aspirations of the head narcissist in chief.
In any event, the money being used for the elevation project is excellent hazard mitigation and using any of it to dredge the channel is as misguided as location freezers stuffed full of chicken and pork bellies at sea level before Katrina. We pay a terrible price environmentally for that channel and I think it may be time Slabbed explores that, especially in light of what I saw on my last trip to Ship Island, which appears to be literally eroding into the channel to my untrained eye.