Sustainable seaport inland access: Port of Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston
Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet), 2017
Expanded Panama Canal opened in June 2016 and with it 14000 TEU vessels are supposed to call seaports on east cost US, such as seaports of Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston. To meet the demand some of the seaports are extending their docks and acquiring new equipment to handle those vessels, however, capacity increase only at seaport facilities without improvements in seaports’ inland connections is not enough for the entire container transport chain to function properly. Therefore for some seaports the weakest link in their transportation chain is their back door, where congested roads or inadequate connections cause delays and raise transportation costs. Competition requires seaports to focus on their inland access, on the demand for services in its traditional hinterland and also on development in areas outside their immediate market. The strategic decision to resolve economic and environmental issues would be the implementation of intermodal (road and rail) transport through dry ports. And, that is what some ports are doing, e.g. Charleston is on the way to implement its second dry port (inland port).
Therefore the purpose of this study is to investigate how implementation of dry ports (inland ports) can contribute to functionality and sustainability of the studied seaports and their transport systems. The findings from the study could have implication for similar container seaports around the world.
The dry port concept has potential to generate benefits to the ecological environment and the quality of life by shifting flows from road to rail, it mainly offers seaports the possibility of securing a market in the hinterland, increasing the throughput without physical port expansion. The seaport cities and the seaports benefit from less road congestion and/or less need for infrastructure investments. Capacity increase only at seaport facilities without improvements in seaports’ inland access often is not enough for the entire container transport chain to function properly. With constantly growing container transports, efficiency of rail and flexibility of road are increasingly needed for inland access to/from the seaports.
Data for the study was collected through face-to-face interviews at seaports of Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston. Prior the field study an extensive literature review has been carried out; in addition, a number of secondary sources were used, such as reports and internal documents.
Inland intermodal terminal