U.S. public port authorities will invest just over $9 billion in the next five years to improve and expand their facilities, according to Deputy Maritime Administrator John Graykowski, who addressed the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) 88th Annual Convention, held in New York last week.
Ports are spending record levels to expand and improve their facilities to meet projected demand, Graykowski said. Local port authorities have spent almost $20 billion since World War II.
In 1998, ports invested nearly $1.5 billion, almost equaling the record set in 1997, including $154 million for general cargo. During the five-year period between 1999 and 2003, ports predict they will spend $9.1 billion, compared to $7.7 billion between 1998 to 2002.
Other speakers at the AAPA Convention included the Honorable Joseph Westphal, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on "Status of and Prospects for the Corps of Engineers Navigation Programs," and the Honorable Harold Creel, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, who discussed "Current Issues and Proceedings Before the FMC."
The Caribbean delegation heard from Michelle Paige, President, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, about "Current Cruise Industry Trends and Concerns." Canadian port members talked about progress made under the new Canada Marine Act. Latin American delegation
members heard from John Martuge of the U.S. Customs Service about the relationship between ports and Customs.
The Association honored two long-time port executives. James J. O'Brien received the ImPORTant Service Award. The award honors individuals with more than 10 years' experience in port management who have served with distinction as members and chairman of an AAPA standing committee. Mr. O'Brien is past Chairman of the former AAPA Commerce Committee
. He served for many years on the Association's Board of Directors, and in 1989 was elected chairman
of its United States Delegation
The second individual honored with a Distinguished Service Award was Frank G. Martin, Jr. Mr. Martin served as executive director of the ports of Chicago, Coos Bay, and, since 1988, the Indiana Port Commission. He worked successfully to attract a maritime-dependent industries through foreign trade zones and various other economic incentives that in turn have literally spawned hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions of dollars in economic impacts.