• Port of Politics - continued

  • Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.
Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by Gilbert B Norman
As I noted over at theCSX Forum, all five East and Gulf Coast maritime ports covered by the proposed sale of the operating franchise from British concern P&O to the Dubai concern are served by CSX. However, I was corrected by Mr. Weaver on that point who stated that only the FEC serves the Port of Miami.

What I would be interested in learning is if the FEC has such a "lock" on the facility, that only line haul rates are made from there. This would ensure, absent a shipper's specific routing to the contrary, the FEC would have a line haul to Jacksonville on that traffic where obviously it would have to be interchanged to the "other guys'.

The alternative is that the FEC was either required by an STB ruling or, in some remote chance, deemed it in their best business interests to open the Port to a reciprocal switch with CSX. With a reciprocal switch arrangement, cars are physically moved from the closest physical interchange with the "other guy' to the facility and VV. The tariff calls for a modest charge (I would guess about $200 per car be such loaded or MTY) to be assessed against the line haul road. Whether that charge is absorbed or passed to the shipper as an accessorial charge is at the line haul road's perogative.

If the Port is "open' (likely so only because shippers want line haul access to two competitive roads and the STB seems to hold such is "good'), then I would consider that CSX also serves the Port. Failing that, it would seem that this is just one more "on line gold mine' in FEC's "portfolio'.

Thoughts from those informed on such matters?

  by crazy_nip
CSX doesnt want to switch the port, that is why they let FEC handle the freight to Jacksonville and then take over for points north

also of note, the port of tampa is involved as well, which csx serves
  by NellieBly
As it happens, I'm working on a large transportation study in southeast Florida. My responsibility is the rail portion of the study.

Here's the situation. There are three ports in the study region:

1) Port of Palm Beach
2) Port Everglades
3) Miami

The Port of Palm Beach is the former FEC car-float dock for moving freight cars to Cuba. It is serviced directly off the FEC main, but also has a connection to CSX via an industrial track. However, only FEC has rights to serve the port. The port gets about 50 to 60 cars a day.

Port Everglades is just south of downtown Ft. Lauderdale, next to the airport. The port originally owned a rail line that connected to the former Seaboard at Dania Yard, west of the airport. However, that land was sold to Florida DOT for the construction of I-595, the road into the airport and port, and has been removed. There is rail into the north (bulk) portion of the port, but no rail to the intermodal terminals. Boxes are drayed a short distance (no more than a half mile) to Andrews Ave. intermodal yard, owned by FEC. Three trains per day make pickups there, and there are two switchers on duty.

Miami is reached by a long spur right through downtown off the former FEC main, which is now known as the "downtown lead" or "port lead". It is all 10 MPH and unsignaled from a point called Little River south to downtown Miami. Aside from a local that uses a runaround track on the north end of the lead, it sees maybe one freight move a week.

The FEC "main line" turns west at Little River to a yard at Hialeah, west of the Amtrak/CSX facility. There are also large rock quarries west of the airport that are reached by both CSX and FEC.

So, to recap: Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach are major rail users. Any intermodal traffic to/from Miami, however, must be drayed through downtown Miami and west to Hialeah. I don't think very much is.

  by Gilbert B Norman
"Brief passage" from an interesting and informative article appearing in Today's Wall Street Jounal:

  • Amid the political firestorm surrounding Dubai Ports World, one fact is often lost -- foreign companies already manage most of the terminals at American ports, the result of a longtime dominance of global shipping lines that often run the facilities that handle their cargoes.

    Today, more than 60% of the container terminals at the nation's 10 busiest ports are at least partly managed by foreign operators, and in some cases, companies controlled by foreign governments. That figure rises to 80% at the biggest ports -- Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland in California and New York/New Jersey, which together handle half of all containers that pass through U.S. ports.

    "I don't think Americans have any realization of the global nature of the maritime industry," says Peter Shaef, managing director of New York-based AMA Capital Partners LLC, a merchant bank focusing on the transportation industry.
Here is the full story available at the Journal's subscription site (thanks boss) and is also available at your newsstand for a buck.

  by Gilbert B Norman
It would appear that, save one more "whupping" of a "President on the ropes" and who still some 70% of a term left in which at best it will be a "struggle" to try and govern, this matter is "moot".

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/09/polit ... ports.html