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Why U.S. seaports need help

Even as the global recession has forced cutbacks in government spending, other countries continue to invest significantly more than the U.S. to expand and update their transportation networks
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
June 19, 2012

As recently as 2005, the World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. number one in infrastructure economic competitiveness.

Today, the U.S. is ranked 16th, while neighboring Canada is ranked 11th and fast-developing China has risen to 44th.  This change in ranking is due mostly to the fact that the U.S. spends only 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product on transportation infrastructure while Canada spends 4 percent and China spends 9 percent.

Even as the global recession has forced cutbacks in government spending, other countries continue to invest significantly more than the U.S. to expand and update their transportation networks.

The following are examples of investments other countries are putting toward transportation infrastructure:

?• India plans to invest $60 billion, including both public and private funds, in creating seven new major ports by 2020 to handle a rapid expansion in exports of merchandise, which is forecast to triple by 2017.

??• Brazil expects tonnage at its coastal ports to more than double, to 1.7 billion tons by 2022, and has committed $17 billion, including $14 billion from the private sector, for port improvements.  ??

• The world’s fourth largest marine terminals operator, DP World, plans to spend $2.5 billion on London’s Deep-Water Gateway, the United Kingdom’s first such development in the last 20 years.

About the Author

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Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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