Puentes on the Problem of "Panamax Phantoms"

My friend Rob Puentes published a piece in The New Republic online about one of the dangers of having no national freight plan (unlike other industrialized nations, I'm sure), which ties in well to the piece I just wrote about greening a burgeoning world of goods movement.

Turns out that Charleston and Savannah are scrambling to line up public financing for port expansion to accommodate the new gigantic ships that will be able to traverse the Panama Canal in a few short years. But as Rob points out, those ships will likely be already committed to routes to ports that are ready for them in Hampton Roads, Baltimore and New Jersey-New York. So their expansion may be for naught, possibly wasting taxpayer dollars.

A suboptimal outcome, to say the least, in an era of tight budgets. But definitely possible in the appalling absence of a real national freight plan.