Friday, May 7, 2021


By Mark Nero, Managing Editor

The topic of infrastructure is having a moment right now, both within the maritime industry and at the federal government level.

Among the reasons why is that the Biden Administration has proposed the “American Jobs Plan,” a $2 trillion transportation infrastructure modernization package that would, among other things, upgrade seaports as well as fix highways and rebuild bridges that are vital to port-related truck and vehicular traffic.

The jobs plan, which was publicly unveiled April 15, includes $115 billion for roads and bridges; $80 billion for freight and other rail; and $42 billion for ports and airports. Republicans in Congress have made a counteroffer of a $568 billion package that specifically focuses on transportation infrastructure.

While this is playing itself out, seaports along the West Coast already have their own infrastructure projects either in progress or in the planning stages. The same is true on the East Coast, where a number of port infrastructure projects have been undertaken due to the expansion of the Panama Canal, the fifth anniversary of which is in June. And with all these things as a backdrop, the upcoming issue of Pacific Maritime will have a number of stories devoted to infrastructure.

For one, we’ll have an article devoted to large scale infrastructure projects at major seaports along the West Coast. We’ll also have a story dedicated solely to the Port of Alaska – formerly known as the Port of Anchorage -- and the improvement projects taking place at the Last Frontier state’s busiest seaport.

Additionally, we’ll have an article on the aforementioned Panama Canal. It will delve into how the canal’s expansion has changed global shipping routes, and whether or not Pacific ports are now being bypassed more often, since the expansion allows the largest ships coming from Asia to traverse the canal and dock at East and Gulf Coast ports to load and unload goods, instead of before, where super-sized vessels would have to discharge cargo on the West Coast.

And in addition to the above, rounding things out will be a guest op-ed from the law firm of K&L Gates. The topic? That’s right, you’ve got it – infrastructure.

And if infrastructure isn’t something that you care much about or pay attention to, don’t worry – there will still be plenty of other interesting topics covered in our next print issue. For example, we’ll have an article on a new state-of the-art fireboat station in the San Francisco Bay Area; we’ll commemorate the 70th anniversary of HVAC company Quality Refrigeration; and there will be an article on spill response and resiliency.

So hopefully, there will be news and opinions that most, if not all Pacific Maritime readers will find useful and informative. And it’s all coming your way in the June/July edition of the magazine, out in a few weeks.

Managing Editor Mark Nero can be reached at: