In last month’s issue, we (that is, I) misspelled the name of the owner of Death or Glory tattoo shop in Westbrook. He’s Jamey Hodgdon, not Hodsdon. (Be assured Hodgdon doesn’t make similar mistakes in his line of work.) Also, for the record, the title of The RattleSnakes song on Tidal Living is “Iceberg,” not “Iceburg.”
Below is a postscript and correction to last month’s cover story, “Chump Change,” written by its author, Colin Woodard (who, while we’re on the subject, should have been given a photo credit for the image on page 20 of last month’s issue).
— Chris Busby, editor
In a sidebar to last month’s cover story on cruise ships, I reported on trends affecting cargo operations at the International Marine Terminal. Ten years ago, city officials argued that international ferry operations had to be moved out of the IMT to make way for a projected doubling of container traffic by 2008. I noted that, in reality, growth in traffic has been modest, and the container port had yet to outgrow its four-acre facility on the western waterfront (which is true). I also reported that John Henshaw, director of the Maine Port Authority, expects future net growth to be modest (which is, as it turns out, not so true.)
As he conveyed in subsequent communications, Henshaw is actually much more bullish about the IMT’s prospects, and he has some compelling evidence to support his optimism.
In recent years, IMT cargo flows have fluctuated between 837 to 1,870 loaded containers per year — well within the yard’s capacity. But last year there was an appreciable jump to 2,311 loaded containers (in addition to 1,766 empty ones) with the advent of biweekly barge service to New York last August. (I erroneously reported that this New York feeder service was an as-yet-unrealized “opportunity,” not an established transit route.)
Last December, German shipping powerhouse Hapag-Lloyd suspended its weekly service from Portland to Halifax, but Henshaw said the New York feeder will more than make up for the loss. He’s “cautiously optimistic” that 2008 will be a record year, with 6,000 total container movements through the IMT (over half of them loaded).
If achieved, that level of traffic would require operations to expand into the 15 acres made available when the CAT ferry moved to Ocean Gateway this year. The IMT parking lot still needs to be rebuilt to support the weight of loaded containers, but Henshaw said it can be, and has been, used for empty containers.