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A seismic supply chain shift


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Expanded Panama Canal will change the game of logistics
Surveyors of the supply chain landscape say the widened Panama Canal will help shippers avoid West Coast congestion and maximize rail and sea transport over trucking and air.Jones Lang Lasalle, a global real estate services firm, predicts that 25 percent of imports currently coming through the West Coast could shift to East Coast ports after the expansion opens in 2014. With the expansion, Asian imports will become more prevalent in Eastern U.S. ports, and Eastern and Midwestern governments and businesses are preparing for the coming deluge.

Ports of Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Miami, Baltimore and Philadelphia have announced projects to enlarge and deepen channels for the larger ships. The Hampton Roads and New York/New Jersey ports already are in position to benefit from the shift. Georgia and South Carolina are co-developing the $500 million Jasper Ocean Terminal, MHIA reported. This project is expected to handle 7 million cargo containers annually.

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