Multipurpose ships can handle a variety of cargo, such as large industrial components for oil rigs, as well as rolling stock and building materials for construction purposes which may not traditionally fit into shipping containers. It is this versatility that Thorco Shipping considers its niche – being able to load from bulk and bagged commodities to large turbines, wind power and heavy lift equipment, and even containers. 

The Port of Palm Beach is working to secure revenue to fund capital improvements to maintain and expand its facility. The nearly 100-year-old port, based in Riviera Beach, Fla., is renovating its sheet piles to keep the berth at bay while looking to update infrastructure and add markets.

A recently completed $67 million capital expansion program will allow the Port of Beaumont, Texas, to solidify its status as the No. 1 military cargo port in the United States while also increasing its capacity to handle dry and liquid goods. 

The expansion, initiated following the port’s adoption of a facilities master plan in 2006 and completed in 2013, included developing a greenfield property in Orange County, Texas, to supplement its operations. It also involved expanding the port’s rail infrastructure and installing a new mobile harbor crane that allows for the handling and lifting of heavy cargo. “When we were moving toward this master plan we identified several infrastructure improvements we could perform in the port that could give us greater flexibility in marketing ourselves,” Port Director and CEO Chris Fisher says. “We knew that by increasing our rail access in particular that we would have a much more marketable facility.”

The Port of New Orleans is a hub of economic progress, which has also made it a hub of construction activity. To keep the economic buzz humming, there is a parallel buzz of drills and hammers at work to build the infrastructure that leads to economic progress. The port’s facilities encompass 20 million square feet of cargo-handling area and more than 3. 1 million square feet of covered storage area, as well as 1.7 million square feet of cruise ship and parking facilities. 

It accommodates a yearly average of 1,800 oceangoing vessel calls, is the only seaport in the United States served by six Class 1 railroads, and is a leading port of imported steel, natural rubber and coffee. The activity at the Port of New Orleans is responsible for 160,500 jobs, $8 billion in earnings, $17 billion in spending and $800 million in taxes statewide. No port gets to this point by sitting still. 

A critical component of Alaska’s economy is making big plans for its future. The Port of Anchorage in January 2014 expects to select a project management team that will make recommendations for capital projects including dock replacements and other physical upgrades that will take place over the next five to nine years. Building on the port’s data on waterfront facility service life, the “2023 Business Plan” to be released in February 2014 is identifying a number of business opportunities and related facility requirements. 

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