I read with interest your recent article on Portland’s container operations, “All quiet on the Portland waterfront” [August 2008]. I would like to take issue with your contention that Portland has only seen “modest growth” in container traffic in the last decade. In fact, container operations have increased by 84% since 2002, according to Capt. Monroe’s State of the Port presentation for 2007. We anticipate that container operations will return, and prosper, this fall.
With respect to your contention that Portland need not have separated its freight and passenger operations, one would only need to look at the terminal today to see that passenger operations would be incompatible with the current project cargo (windmills) that occupies the terminal. In the future, we hope to see a mix of containers and other cargos to assure the sustainability of the facility. Were The Cat operating out of the International Marine Terminal, such use would not be possible.
Finally, and on a positive note, current operations reflect a cooperative effort between the City, the State, labor, and industry to build upon the success of the terminal. It is this spirit of cooperation that will help maintain this vital transportation option for Portland’s, and Maine’s, businesses.
John H. Henshaw
Executive Director, Maine Port Authority