Your morning jolt: The Port of Savannah’s competition – on the West Coast

As Georgia pursues federal funding for the $650 million dredging of the Port of Savannah, much attention is given to competition with other East Coast ports such as Jacksonville, Miami and Charleston.

But the West Coast may be the more important rival to Savannah’s success. From McClatchy News Service:

Several factors make a significant shift from one coast to the other unlikely. The first is speed. It’s less expensive for a ship to go the all-water route to the East Coast instead of docking on the West Coast and offloading containers onto trucks or trains, but it also takes at least a week longer. For consumer electronics and other high-end goods that need to get to store shelves quickly, retailers will pay more for faster transit times.

Second, ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, Calif., and Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., are deep enough to handle the bigger ships. They have warehousing space for containers, and they have highly developed rail connections to the Midwest and Southeast….

Third, the Panama Canal authority must pay off billions of dollars in construction costs, and it’s unknown how much the canal will charge the bigger ships in tolls. Last, the Suez Canal can handle any size ship, and some cargo ships bound from Asia to North America already use it.

If you’ve promised yourself that the next Newt Gingrich video will be your last, make it this one from ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Your money back if you’re not satisfied:

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will have a face-to-face on Friday somewhere in that city:

The meeting will be their first since Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, dropped his presidential bid on April 10 after falling behind in delegates and cash. Neither campaign would disclose where they’ll meet….

“These are the kind of gestures that gracious winners make,” said Bruce Haynes, a Washington-based GOP strategist not affiliated with either campaign. …

By agreeing to meet in Pittsburgh, Romney demonstrates that Santorum’s supporters are important, Haynes said, noting Romney needs to gain the backing of evangelicals and staunch conservatives who supported Santorum.

When Japan was hit by that tsunami last year, relief organizations immediately raised millions of dollars from donations texted from mobile phones. The question now is whether the same tactic can be applied to political fund-raising. From the Washington Post:

Two consulting firms — one from each party — are asking the Federal Election Commission for permission to accept political contributions via text messages, a move that could reshape the way many campaign donations are collected.

The idea has attracted support from campaign-finance watchdogs, who view it as a way to broaden participation in political campaigns and push back on the influence of interest groups funded by billionaires and corporations.

The Macon Telegraph reports that the Bibb County school board apparently knows all it needs to know about the state’s new sunshine laws. Only two of eight members showed up Wednesday for a briefing by a senior staffer dispatched by Attorney General Sam Olens.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

8 comments Add your comment


May 3rd, 2012
10:32 am

Going on record as predicting the Romney-Santorum meeting will not be at “The O”.


May 3rd, 2012
10:44 am

What the west coast ports do have that is their Achilles heel are unions with way too much power. They shut the west coast down several years ago, and threaten to do it again every once in a while. Importers cannot take that risk. That was feeding direct ships from Asia even before the ditch 2.0 is finished.


May 3rd, 2012
10:50 am

I have been a proponent of a deep water port at Savannah. However, my enthusiasm is starting to waver. Charleston can already handle deep water ships at high tide. 48 feet is considered deep water and Charleston harbor is deep water at high tide. Savannah is 42 feet at high tide.
Sooooo the reasoning is, if a mega ship can be offloaded while the tide is still high Charleston would not have to spend or procure any money.
That is all there is to it, except how long is the water at high tide? And, also, if it is unloaded[quickly] the ship will require less depth even though it has not been fully unloaded. The problem has been solved.


May 3rd, 2012
11:28 am

We need at least 2 or 3 updates a day about if, when, and where Gingrich might meet Romney face to face. We also require rampant speculation on what will be said/ agreed concerning paying off Gingrich campaign debt, Gingrich speaking at the convention, his role in campaigning, and possible job in a Romney administration. Let’s change the name of this blog to “Gingrich political Insider”.


May 3rd, 2012
11:36 am

If the people in our State who will be called on to provide the initiation point for ‘perdue trucking’ profits would educate themselves to the reality of shipping in the United States the deepening of the Port of Savannah would make them laugh out loud.

This may not be the stupidest idea to bubble up from our political ‘leaders’ in the last generation, but it is certainly in the Top5.

Wrecking the Savannah Rive Ecosystem, potentially harming the Floridan Aquifer and gaining NO REAL ECONOMIC BENEFIT. This could only happen in GA.


May 3rd, 2012
11:46 am

I totally agree with “Centrist”. We need to turn this into the “Gingrich Political Insider.” Every day I am going to help out by posting a quote from Newt in which he exposes Mitt Romney as a failed candidate unworthy of becoming president. Lets start…

“”"We have to ultimately focus on beating Barack Obama, but we’re not going to beat Barack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares of Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a stockholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together to understand what this is all about.””"

Marlboro Man

May 3rd, 2012
12:39 pm

Savannah is just fine the way it is.


May 3rd, 2012
1:53 pm

I think the West Coast has a slight edge on two points: 1) Few weather delays 2) For Asian imports and exports the West Coast is the place to be.