The American Association of Port Authorities—the leading alliance of public ports in the Western Hemisphere—on Nov. 14-16, 2006, in downtown Memphis, will hold its second annual seminar focusing on ports in and along America’s inland and intracoastal waterways. The conference, titled “Growth Opportunities for General Cargo and Shallow Draft Ports,” will feature experts on subjects ranging from short sea shipping to adapting existing terminal facilities to handle new types of cargoes.
Opening the seminar this year will be Don McCrory, executive director of the International Port of Memphis, which is also the port hosting this year’s seminar for AAPA. Located on the Mississippi River, more than 700 miles upstream from where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of Memphis is considered North America’s distribution hub, with the distinction of being the country’s fourth largest inland port, served by five of the top seven U.S. railroads, more than 200 local and over-the-road common carriers, and featuring Tennessee’s largest petroleum refinery. In addition to serving as the port’s chief executive, Mr. McCrory is a member and past president of the Memphis World Trade Club, a past president of the Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Memphis, and serves as a board member of the National Waterways Conference, having served as its treasurer for the past nine years.
Among the featured seminar presentations will be several on short sea shipping, which is an alternative form of domestic commercial transportation that utilizes inland and coastal waterways to move commercial freight to and from major ports, reducing the burden on roads and railways. Short sea shipping issues to be explored include the role of the port terminal, the carrier, labor and the customer, geographic (e.g., Pacific Northwest and Canada) and cargo (e.g., grain and other agriculture) opportunities, and environmental impacts and benefits.
Other highlights of the business program include a panel discussion on partnership opportunities between “gateway” and general cargo ports