The need for national port infrastructure policy


The need for national port infrastructure policy

An expert in port strategic planning says the US is behind its competitors in having national port logistics and infrastructure policies.

John Vickerman, CEO of Vickerman and Associates, has done the strategic plan for 67 of the 90 ports in North America and several overseas.  He tells Brownfield currently infrastructure and logistics policies are mostly state specific, but in the big picture…

“It’s not one particular state, it’s not one particular city, it’s how the farmer integrates through the entire supply chain and it could dramatically help the agricultural industry.”

He says if individual state’s coastal ports and inland railway ports worked together systemically products could be shipped overseas cheaper, faster and at a higher quality. 

“China cannot deal without our soy, so let’s get it to them in a way that increases the profitability of our farmland and let’s do it in a way that makes all of our ports more capable.”

Vickerman says one example is if inland rail ports organize a just in time arrival for products to a container sitting in a coastal port, it can lower the dwell time, which could double the capacity of the port system without building any further infrastructure.   

He says the scheduled dredging of 64 miles of the Mississippi River is a step in the right direction.

Brownfield interviewed Vickerman at the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois’ annual convention where he gives updates every few years.

Comments from an interview with John Vickerman

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