“Even if global trade returns to its formerly robust pace, Drewry said, “any new trade will probably pass the West Coast by. Volumes are unlikely to decline, but the days of strong growth on the Pacific Coast are behind us.”

Panama Canal expansion threatens some US ports
By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service
Published: December 07, 2008, 23:3

Los Angeles: The slowdown in international trade has left the docks at the United States’ biggest seaport complex quieter than they’ve been in years.

Some workers, particularly non-union “casuals”, at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports wait for shifts that never come. Automobiles and other merchandise pile up as consumers dig in for a long economic winter.

But the problems at the twin ports, along with smaller West Coast harbours, extend beyond the nation’s economic woes, maritime experts say, and changes on the horizon could leave the seaports struggling to keep customers.


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