ST. LOUIS — Touted more than a century ago as the gateway to the west, St. Louis has improvements underway to better position itself as the “gateway to the world.”
A coalition led by Mary Lamie of the Bi-State Development Agency has devised an aggressive infrastructure improvement plan and marketing campaign that’s intended to attract and expand more intramodal transportation to the St. Louis area, including Illinois.
Called the St. Louis Regional Freightway, key to the plan’s success is St. Louis’ singular position on the Mississippi River. Perched at top of the Upper Mississippi River, this area is where the river is considered the northernmost freeze-free and lock-free open water. This also is where six Class 1 railroads, five airports and four interstates converge.
Already a critical conduit for Illinois agricultural commodities, equipment and products, the Freightway recently achieved several steps forward, solidifying its claim as the “Ag Coast of America.”
Planning, partnering and branding as a global trade hub are paying off for the Freightway in an “unprecedented” manner. Less than a year ago, discussions at a trade show involving a Louisiana public port, a private vessel company and Freightway officials about concepts for a new kind of multi-modal transportation now are formalized.
In late March, a memo of understanding was signed by the Freightway, four St. Louis area ports and the Port of Plaquemines, south of New Orleans.
What this agreement does, Lamie said, is forge a public-private alliance to generate new business by promoting international and inland trade routes along the Mississippi River.
Article source: agrinews-pubs.com
President Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan has sparked discussion about the vital need to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and the role that individual states, communities and the private sector will have to play in funding that rebuilding. In the bi-state region, those discussions have been underway for some time, resulting in concrete actions that have our area well positioned to compete for whatever federal dollars may be available to help address infrastructure priorities.
The region’s highest freight priority, one with national significance, is replacing the 128-year-old Merchants Bridge, one of two rail bridges used by six Class I railroads and Amtrak to cross the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Current capacity on the bridge creates a significant rail bottleneck that has impact on the regional and national freight network. Unless addressed, this critical bridge will be obsolete in 10 years, forcing extensive reroutes and impacting transportation costs to all modes of transportation, as well as the region’s ability to compete globally.
In contrast, a $200 million replacement of the Merchants Bridge has the potential to greatly improve freight movement in the nation and create more than $456 million in local economic activity over 20 years.
Those very real challenges and tremendous opportunities helped the St. Louis Regional Freightway to unite local governments, Class I railroads, port and barge industries, and other stakeholders in regional freight and manufacturing in support of this project.
The bridge replacement plan is a prime example of the type of public-private partnership that has potential to succeed in a funding climate that puts heavy emphasis on private investment. The Terminal Railroad Association (TRRA) of St. Louis committed to funding nearly two-thirds of the project’s cost, with the remainder hopefully to be covered by federal funds being sought through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program. The Missouri Department of Transportation, Bi-State Development and TRRA jointly submitted the application, with support from East-West Gateway Council of Governments, all four U.S. Senators and U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri and Illinois, and more than 50 private-sector supporters. If the application results in a grant being awarded, the Merchants Bridge project could begin immediately.
Another public-private partnership aimed at developing a new transportation link for cargo to move along the Mississippi River also got a recent boost. The St. Louis Regional Freightway, Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District located in the State of Louisiana and four ports in the bi-state region signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create an alliance to generate new business by promoting international and inland trade routes along the Mississippi River. The agreement embodies the St. Louis region’s strong support for efforts underway by marine transportation services leader American Patriot Holdings, LLC, and the Port of Plaquemines to develop a hub-and-spoke transportation system for container transport vessel shipments from Plaquemines to the St. Louis region.
We’re excited by the region’s ability to unite behind such bold initiatives and confident that our continued willingness to do so will enhance the St. Louis region’s position as a premier freight gateway and multimodal hub.
News sorce: ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL
For Immediate Release 3/29/17
Contact Dale Benoit 504-289-3833
Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District (PPHTD) and American Patriot Holdings LLC (APH)
announced plans to develop an intermodal container terminal on the lower Mississippi River, taking
advantage of the Plaquemines Port’s wide expanse of land and American Patriot Container Transport
LLC’s (APCT) innovative inland vessel design, able to efficiently deliver containers to and from ports on
the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. APCT is a wholly owned subsidiary of APH.
Entering into an “Exclusivity Agreement” PPHTD and APH plan to jointly develop the logistics system
for vessel operations comprised of both deep-water docking at the Pointe Céleste Container Terminal
and multiple upriver terminals, initially planned for the Memphis and St. Louis areas.
PPHTD’s new Container Port, located between mile 50 and 55 on the Mississippi River, will be the
southern-most full service port complex on the river, providing full intermodal service via river, rail,
highway and air to and from the heartland of America. Users of the new terminal will realize economic
efficiencies resulting from technological advances being built into the port, and operational safety
advantages given the port’s geographic position.
“We’re building a new, modern technology port from the ground up where berthing depths exceed 60
feet and with the capability to accommodate the larger Post-Panamax vessels coming through the
widened and deepened Panama Canal,” said Sandy Sanders, Executive Director of Plaquemines Port.
“Containers imported to the Plaquemines Port would be transferred to APCT’s revolutionary vessels for
delivery to their upriver port destination. Export containers will be efficiently delivered from upriver
ports to the Plaquemines Port for export on ocean carriers. Beneficial Cargo Owners and Ocean
Carriers alike should look at the planned port as a solution to their logistic problems and the high
intermodal costs that plague them today. Cargo flows through the most efficient economical route and
our plans are to provide shorter dwell times, lowest cost, with fast and reliable routes,” Sandy added.
Sal Litrico, CEO of American Patriot Container Transport LLC, said partnering with Plaquemines Port
is very exciting, considering what will be offered to shippers. “Our team looks forward to meeting with
shippers and ocean carriers to discuss their present day logistic and cost concerns, and how our
system can be planned to optimize their business logistic efficiencies.”
The new port, comprised of 4,200 acres, will include a recently announced $8.5 billion LNG re-liquefaction
facility, a break bulk terminal and a state-of-the-art container terminal expected to comprise approximately
1000 acres. Designed to service the largest ocean carriers, the container terminal will be capable of
safely docking vessels up to 20,000 TEU. Deep-water access and 21,600 linear feet of waterfront allow
for multiple ocean and APCT vessels to be accommodated simultaneously.
“The Port has been working very hard on a diversity of projects which will amount to creating quality jobs
and increasing the tax base for our parish,” said Port Chairman Beau Black. “APH’s revolutionary
container vessels fit right into our plan to make Plaquemines Port as diversified as possible. By finally
taking advantage of the Mississippi River, our Port will allow shippers to fully benefit from the lowest cost
mode of transportation and relieve this development from having an adverse impact on vehicular and rail
“We are moving in the right direction entering the container markets, which will aid in diversifying our
economy,” said Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier. “So much of our economy is dependent
on oil and gas. We believe container transportation will be ever increasing in the global economy with
the expansion of the Panama Canal.”
APH, in conjunction with its Naval Architect, Naviform Consulting & Research Ltd., (NAVIFORM)
developed the proprietary and patent-pending design. By revolutionizing how containers are moved on
Inland Waterways, this one of a kind container vessel offers un-paralleled efficiencies. The patented
Exoskeleton Vessel Hull Structure maximizes container payload, and the patented bow design enables
the vessels to travel at 13 mph north and southbound with essentially no wake. APH has exclusive
rights for use of the design and an exclusive licensing agreement on the patents. APH believes the
application of this technology will have worldwide appeal.
The propulsion system consists of 4 diesel generators, driving 4 azimuthing thrusters (Z-Drive) and 2
bow pumps, burning LNG, the “cleanest fuel” for propulsion. Together, the main propulsion thrusters
and the bow pumps eliminate the need for docking/undocking assist tugs, saving substantial time and
expense. The container vessel designs range from 592 ft. to 952 ft. in overall length, with
corresponding Deadweight (LT) of 9489 to16079, and TEU capacities of 1824 to 2960 at a draft of
9’00” in fresh water.
APCT expects upriver round trips from the Pointe Céleste Terminal will take 7 days to Memphis and 11
days to St. Louis. The vessels will be outfitted with substantial electrical capacity for reefer cargoes.
APCT expects to attract shippers and ocean carriers to this system by offering un-paralleled cost
efficiencies for agricultural products, refrigerated cargoes, dry cargoes, and chemicals.
“The planned logistic system will increase U.S. economic competitiveness by adding cost effective and
reliable transportation capacity, provide long term logistic viability, support, reduce heavy road traffic,
reduce greenhouse gases, reduce hazardous material transport through populated areas, and provide
jobs for skilled mariners and U.S. shipyards,” said Litrico.
The management team of APCT includes, Joseph (Joe) P. Gehegan, former CEO of U.S. Shipping
Corp, Robert (Bob) W. McCormack former Global Vice-President of Marine Commercial and Business
Development for a major oil company, and Salvatore (Sal) Litrico former CEO of United Maritime
PPHTD and APH recently completed a “Pre-Feasibility Report” and determined the new logistic system
offered a sufficient value proposition to attract customers. The business case is being presented to
investors, terminal operators and other potential stakeholders to advance to the “Bankable Feasibility”
stage. PPHTD and APCT have commenced discussions with BCO’s, ocean carriers and terminal
operators to advance the project.