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  • Writer's pictureE.R.Cornwell

Talkin' all 'bout Ports...

Determining the "best" location for a new port based on population density and highway infrastructure requires a comprehensive analysis that considers multiple factors. While we can provide some general guidelines in this writeup, it's important to note that a thorough study involving local expertise, economic considerations, environmental impact assessments, and other factors would be required to identify the most suitable location. Nevertheless, here are a few key considerations:


1. **Proximity to High Population Centers:** One factor to consider is the proximity of the new port to high population centers. Ports located near densely populated areas can have advantages in terms of access to a large consumer market, reducing transportation costs for goods, and potential business opportunities.


2. **Transportation Infrastructure:** Assessing the existing highway infrastructure is crucial. Look for areas with well-developed road networks, including major highways and transportation corridors that can efficiently connect the new port to other regions. Additionally, access to rail and intermodal transportation facilities can enhance the port's connectivity and logistics capabilities.


3. **Deep-Water Access and Navigability:** Ports require deep-water access to accommodate large vessels. Areas with natural deep-water ports or locations where dredging can be conducted at a reasonable cost should be considered. Navigability, including factors such as water depth, tidal patterns, and potential navigational restrictions, should also be evaluated.


4. **Environmental Considerations:** Environmental impact assessments are essential to identify potential ecological concerns and ensure sustainable port development. Assessing the environmental sensitivity of coastal areas, including habitats, endangered species, and potential impacts on water quality, is crucial when selecting a location.


5. **Land Availability and Cost:** The availability of suitable land for port construction and expansion, as well as land acquisition costs, should be evaluated. Sufficient space is needed for port facilities, container yards, storage areas, and potential future growth.


6. **Supply Chain and Logistics:** Analyze the existing supply chain and logistics networks in the region. Consider locations that optimize the flow of goods and provide connectivity to existing distribution channels, manufacturing hubs, and transportation networks.


7. **Government Support and Stakeholder Engagement:** Assess the willingness of local and regional governments to support the development of a new port. Engage with stakeholders, including government entities, industry representatives, and community groups, to understand their perspectives and address any concerns.


Remember, these are general considerations, and conducting a detailed feasibility study involving experts in port development, urban planning, and logistics would be necessary to identify the most suitable location for a new port based on specific requirements and objectives.


With that said... we wanted to look at the current ports in the US and how they are positioned against population within a one-day truck drive. Here's what we found out:

  • Port of Los Angeles/Port of Long Beach, California

    • Volume: The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are adjacent ports that function as a single complex. Collectively, they are the busiest port in the United States by volume.

    • Population Density: Within a 350-mile radius of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the population density varies considerably. However, major cities within this radius include Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas, which have significant population densities. The specific population density figures will depend on the exact location within the radius.

  • Port of New York and New Jersey

    • Volume: The Port of New York and New Jersey is the second-busiest port in the United States.

    • Population Density: Within a 350-mile radius of the Port of New York and New Jersey, there are densely populated regions including the greater New York City metropolitan area, Philadelphia, and Boston. These areas have high population densities, and the specific population density figures will depend on the exact location within the radius.

  • Port of Houston, Texas

    • Volume: The Port of Houston is one of the busiest ports in the United States and handles significant cargo volume.

    • Population Density: Within a 350-mile radius of the Port of Houston, there are several major cities such as Houston itself, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. These cities and their surrounding regions have varying population densities, with higher densities in urban areas.

  • Port of Savannah, Georgia

    • Volume: The Port of Savannah is one of the fastest-growing ports in the United States and handles a substantial volume of cargo.

    • Population Density: Within a 350-mile radius of the Port of Savannah, the population density varies across the region. Major cities within this radius include Atlanta, Charlotte, and Jacksonville, which have significant population densities. The specific population density figures will depend on the exact location within the radius.

  • Port of Seattle/Tacoma, Washington

    • Volume: The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma are located in close proximity to each other and form a major port complex in the Pacific Northwest.

    • Population Density: Within a 350-mile radius of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, the population density varies across the region. Major cities within this radius include Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, which have significant population densities. The specific population density figures will depend on the exact location within the radius.

It's important to note that population density figures will vary depending on the specific location within the radius and may change over time due to urban development and demographic shifts.


So, if you take the current list of ports and try to expand on the key elements - you might be able to see where new volume might be coming next...or, see where corporations are planning to see new ports created. The Gulf of Mexico is certainly active right now, and perhaps there might not be another site built in the US... but these elements are global. So applying this information to ports around the world might tell you where to invest next.

Talk to us before your next industrial investment. 480-951-1212 / info@cornwell.co


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