Cairo Port Could Be 21st Century Shipping Model
By West Kentucky Star Staff
CAIRO - In a new agreement announced Tuesday, Cairo, Illinois could soon be positioned as a national distribution hub for America's container shipping industry.

The agreement between the Alexander Cairo Port District, the Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District in Louisiana, and American Patriot Container Transport located in Miami, would make the proposed Cairo River port terminal a model of 21st-century inland waterway shipping and a key logistics terminal for the next generation of larger, faster, and more efficient shipping vessels.

Plaquemines is the 15th-busiest port in America. In August the port announced that it was in the process of developing the capability to handle a new class of giant 1300-foot long ships that are being built now. At the same time, the Army Corps of Engineers began last week on a massive project to deepen the lower Mississippi River to a 50-foot draft to accomodate the new giant container ships all the way to Illinois (story linked below.)

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker had already announced on August 4th that Illinois would be investing $40 million into the development and construction of the Cairo port through their Rebuild Illinois capital plan. 

Cairo has always been a key geographic centerpoint on America's inland waterway system, where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi. The waterway connects two dozen states with the Gulf of Mexico. More than 80 percent of all barge traffic in the U.S. already passes by Cairo every year .

The new terminal would include a state-of-the-art rail system capable of handling containers and other cargo, high speed cranes and other terminal capabilities that are necessary to support modern container shipping requirements.

Container shipping plays a large role in the global trade of items. With demand for container ports projected to increase drastically by 2025,  Cairo could play a part to provide a more reliable, faster, cost efficient container shipping method for international trade.

"The Alexander Cairo Port will provide a resource that American industry needs to reach national and global markets, while creating economic growth and good jobs for southern Illinois in the process," said Larry Klein, chairman of the Alexander Cairo Port District. "We're honored to partner with these leaders in the industry and look forward to building a facility that is ready for the future of global shipping."

On the Net:

Mississippi River deepening project article

Published 06:20 PM, Tuesday Sep. 15, 2020
Updated 05:11 PM, Wednesday Sep. 16, 2020



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