AAPA Study Examines Cruise Ports

Thursday, October 02, 2003
To accommodate rapid growth in the North American passenger cruise industry, U.S. ports are facing potential expenditures of $150-300 million to meet existing Federal regulations for cruise facility design and space. That’s the conclusion of a study launched this year by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), with the results unveiled at AAPA’s annual convention in Curaçao. AAPA initiated the study to address cruise ports’ pressing concerns over elaborate, cumbersome, costly and duplicative Federal requirements. The association retained the services of Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, experts in facility design. to conduct the study and recommend solutions. Under current regulations, separate facilities must be provided at cruise ports for Federal inspectors to conduct immigration, customs and agriculture checks. Although these spaces typically are used only part time, the space accounts for up to 30% of the entire port facility. The study found that ports have invested millions of dollars and extensive time constructing and re-constructing facilities to comply with strict regulations, only to have these expensive facilities frequently go underutilized. “At a time when port resources are being stretched thin to meet other important priorities, it is essential that money spent on cruise facilities be invested wisely,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA President. “Ports are facing urgent funding needs for enhanced security, dredging and infrastructure improvements that are absolutely necessary in order to accommodate the burgeoning growth in international trade. Cruise port dollars that are currently being spent to meet excessive and redundant regulations are desperately needed elsewhere.” While concerned about these high expenditures, Nagle also noted that ports are encouraged that the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is now establishing a new frontline inspection officer position at ports to replace the need for three separate inspectors. “AAPA is hopeful that this step toward ‘one-stop processing’ will significantly reduce the existing space requirements,” Nagle said. Historically, passenger processing was conducted directly onboard cruise ships. However, in 2000, Federal agencies requested a land-based Federal Inspection Service (FIS) that included Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), United States Customs Services (USCS) and Animal Plant and Health Inspection Services (APHIS). The spatial and technical requirements mandated by these agencies have had a dramatic and costly impact on cruise terminal design and operation. For example, in addition to queuing and inspection areas, the agencies require ports to provide them with administrative spaces, break rooms, workout facilities, locker rooms, separate bathrooms and many other non-essential elements. Despite the elaborate requirements, the study found that Federal agencies often fail to assign adequate manpower to occupy these custom-made terminals. As a result, even newly built FIS spaces are frequently unoccupied. It is estimated that U.S. ports will need 56-70 new terminals over the next 15 years to keep up with cruise industry growth. Based on existing FIS guidelines, these terminals will require an additional 1,000,000 to 2,100,000 square feet of space to accommodate the agencies’ requests, at a cost to ports of $150-300 million. The study concluded that efficient planning and consolidation of agency requirements can significantly reduce space needs and save ports up to $175 million. Now that the three inspection services are housed with the Department of Homeland Defense, ports seek the opportunity to restructure current requirements and simplify the inspection process. To revise and improve existing regulations, the study recommends the following measures: A thorough review of all office needs to avoid overbuilding; centralization of all FIS support offices into a single location; building flexibility into FIS processing procedures to pave the way for future advances in techology; consolidation of space among the former INS, USCS and APHIS agencies; and consolidation of passenger processing to a single area.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

MHI's Entity to Oversee Material Handling Equipment, Engine and Turbocharger Businesses

Today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) decided in principle to launch a new wholly owned entity to integrally oversee its current businesses in material

Globus Maritime Reclassifies Board Member

Globus Maritime Limited, a dry bulk shipping company, announced today that when Georgios Karageorgiou, a Class I director of Globus Maritime Limited  resigned on December 28,

First Panama Canal Water-Saving Basin Filled

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the first water-saving basin of the Agua Clara Locks’ upper chamber has been filled to the required level in order

Ports

COSCO Plans European Transhipment Hub

China's COSCO is forging ahead with a plan to build a European transhipment hub, reports Reuters. The state owned shipping giant is expected to make an offer for

MOL Enhances CSW Service between Asia and East Coast South America

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL, President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) today announced the enhancement of its Asia and East Coast South America trade by merging existing

World's Richest Travellers Prefer Panama

According to AFP Relaxnews, Panama saw the most growth in interest among the world’s richest jetsetters for travel this winter and spring.   Panama saw the most

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0959 sec (10 req/sec)