Scudder Smith, principal consultant for Parsons Brinckherhoff, recently completed a study about the Panama Canal for the U.S. Maritime Administration that is intended to help the government better understand changes in freight patterns, the ability of U.S. port and inland infrastructure to handle traffic resulting from the arrival of larger vessels, and guide necessary policy and investment decisions.
The report was supposed to be released last year, but has been mired in red tape and now is undergoing a lengthy peer-review process after MarAd took a long time to pick a panel of experts.
The report will then go through a public comment period at a yet to be determined date, according to a MarAd spokesman.
Although there may be some lost opportunities in the near term from not having a coordinated public and private approach to upgrading trade gateways by the time the expanded Panama Canal opens, the study “is designed to inform the long-term investments needed to support market-driven demand 30 to 40 years in the future,” the spokesman said via e-mail.
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