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AAPA concerns despite cargo growth

February 1 - According to a report by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seaports in the USA are seeing a steady rise in waterborne cargo volumes with 2014 tonnage figures showing a 3.1 percent increase over 2013 totals.

Freight volumes moving through US ports - which includes international imports and exports, as well as domestic cargo that is shipped through and within the US coastal, Great Lakes, non-contiguous and inland waterway ports - reached a three-year high of 2.35 billion tons (2.13 billion tonnes).

Exports set a record for the fifth year in a row with a year-on-year increase of 3.7 percent; while imports rose for the first time since 2010, up 0.3 percent, and domestic cargo also ended the year on a positive note.

Commenting on the report, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has said that while the volume of goods moving though US ports in 2014 has boosted the nations economy, it has also placed added burden on the country's ageing and deficient freight transportation network.

"These figures tell us that America's farmed goods, raw materials and manufactured products continued to compete globally in 2014, while manufacturing and industrial interests, farmers and retail consumers here in the US rekindled demand for imports," said AAPA president and ceo Kurt Nagle.

""While this is positive news for the American economy, the increased demand for goods places added strain on our already-overburdened freight transportation system, much of which is used to move cargo to and from our ports.

"In a 2015 AAPA survey, we found that one in three US ports estimate they will require at least USD100 million in landside connection upgrades to handle their projected 2025 freight volumes."

View the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' report here.

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