With carrier consolidations and alliances heralding still-larger containerships coming to the East Coast of North America, the Port of Halifax has entered the fray in a serious way amidst rival bids in recent years for a mega terminal in Nova Scotia.
Since late last year, the port operating at half-capacity with box throughput of under 500,000 TEU has embarked on the elaboration of a master plan with a 10-year time frame aimed at preparing for the anticipated arrival of vessels in the over-10,000 TEU category. The port has been working with partners, including CN Railway and the Halifax Regional Municipality, to identify alternative means of reducing the volume of container truck traffic in downtown Halifax. Adding to the urgency of the exercise have been the efforts of such East Coast ports as NY/NJ, Savannah and Norfolk to be ready for the behemoth box ships.
“Hopefully, our master plan will be released within a matter of months following the discussions with the primary port users,” Lane Farguson, spokesperson for the Halifax Port Authority, told the American Journal of Transportation. “A key objective would be a terminal capable of handling two mega containerships simultaneously.”
Such a terminal would cost more than $1 billion, would likely receive substantial government funding support, and possibly involve a merger of Halifax’s two existing operators, Halterm and Ceres, analysts say. Its eventual location remains to be determined, but it would very likely avert shipping passages under either of the harbor’s two bridges…
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