Some great news has been coming from the East Coast this past week that could be of enormous benefit to customers moving cargo to Mid-Atlantic or Southern destinations. Both Charleston and Norfolk have announced plans to begin dredging to deepen those ports.

We are especially excited about how this will benefit our customers moving cargo from Asia to the eastern United States. Conventional wisdom would suggest that it’s cheaper to bring freight from Asia into West Coast ports. However, the ocean cost variance between East and West coast ports has fallen dramatically in recent years—to the extent that extra ocean costs are easily offset by reduced inland transport.

Further, the improvements to the ports at Charleston and Norfolk will allow for larger ships into those ports—up to 18,000 TEU in Norfolk, for example. Larger ships could mean even greater cost savings to Beneficial Cargo Owners.

As customers increasingly look at these options, ITG can help make the process even easier. The extensive network of carriers we work with—66 in Norfolk and 70 in Charleston—ensures that we will be able to accommodate the increased volumes that will begin coming to these areas. Reliable, timely transportation services from the port can make the difference between whether all those intended savings are realized or not.

We’re excited to see these types of enhancements. Ports and other providers who seize opportunities for improvement during the down market will be well positioned to find even greater success as the market conditions rebound.