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The coast port industry in the USA: a key factor in the process of economic growth

Author

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  • Alga Foschi

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyze the capacity of the USA coast port industry to sustain the development of the US economic system, which is predicted to undergo further strong expansion throughout the period up to 2020. The analysis is based on the observation that GDP depends on international trade, which in turn depends on maritime transport and therefore on the efficiency of the United States coast port industry system. The paper also points out that in many respects the US coast port industrial system is very efficient. It boasts a large number of ports, strategically located, efficient in their production specialization and competitiveness; in addition, the US coast ports are integrated with the national intermodal system. Despite this, the system reveals numerous weaknesses that need to be addressed. The most evident deficiencies involve land access to the ports, inadequate modernization of the intermodal system, dredging and its funding, the power the liner shipping companies wield over the ports, container terminal productivity, the organization of dock work and labour. A number of interesting proposals emerge, to some extent favourably re-assessing the role of federal coordination in the maritime transport sector and putting forward the suggestion of a form of specific financing for the transport sector rather than generic funding; this could be achieved by setting up a purpose-created bank and the subsequent emission of transportation bonds. The paper concludes with the assertion that although the US coast port industry is the most powerful in the world, measures need to be undertaken for technological, organizational and financial rationalization in the coast ports, considered synergically with the intermodal system. Such measures are vital in order to sustain the development that is expected for the period up to 2020; nevertheless, if the proposed measures are not carried out or prove to require a longer time period for completion, this would not lead to an irremediable breakdown, although it would certainly cause a noticeable slow-down of development..

Suggested Citation

  • Alga Foschi, 2004. "The coast port industry in the USA: a key factor in the process of economic growth," Discussion Papers 2004/46, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2004/46
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    File URL: http://www.ec.unipi.it/documents/Ricerca/papers/2004-46.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Fanti, Luciano & Gori, Luca, 2010. "Child policy solutions for the unemployment problem," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 147-149, December.
    2. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2009. "Longevity, fertility and PAYG pension systems sustainability," Discussion Papers 2009/77, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2012. "Endogenous Lifetime in an Overlapping-Generations Small Open Economy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(2), pages 121-152, June.
    4. Marco Guerrazzi, 2005. "Notes on Continuous Dynamic Models: the Benhabib-Farmer Condition for Indeterminacy," Discussion Papers 2005/54, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    5. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2011. "On economic growth and minimum wages," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 59-82, May.
    6. Manuela Gussoni - Andrea Mangani, 2009. "The impact of public funding for innovation on firms' R&D investments: Do R&D cooperation and appropriability matter?," Discussion Papers 2009/90, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    7. Lorenzo Corsini & Elisabetta Olivieri, 2008. "Technological Change and the Wage Differential between Skilled and Unskilled Workers: Evidence from Italy," Discussion Papers 2008/73, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    8. Luca Gori, 2009. "Endogenous fertility, family policy and multiple equilibria," Discussion Papers 2009/79, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    9. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2009. "Endogenous fertility, endogenous lifetime and economic growth: the role of health and child policies," Discussion Papers 2009/91, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    10. Maurizio Lisciandra, 2007. "The Role of Reciprocating Behaviour in Contract Choice," Discussion Papers 2007/65, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2008. "PAYG pensions and economic cycles: exogenous versus endogenous fertility," Discussion Papers 2008/75, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    US coast ports; US maritime transport; intermodality; ports weaknesses; dredging; naval gigantisms; transport bonds;

    JEL classification:

    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other

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