Yoshitani plans are wrong for port

July 14, 1996|By Richard C. Clements LTC

I READ WITH disgust the July 7 editorial ("A plan for the port") on the future plans for the port of Baltimore as indicated by its new executive director, Tay Yoshitani, the former deputy director of the port of Los Angeles.

He seems to be conceding that Baltimore will never be a powerhouse like L.A. and we should accept that. This loser attitude is not acceptable to me as a citizen or as a businessman with a vested interest in the port of Baltimore.

My entire industry depends on the port being available to be used by shippers to transport scrap paper to overseas markets. His contention is that the port would be better utilized by:

1. Specializing (restricting) the container freight and operations, instead of demanding that shipping lines not discriminate on the freight they carry in order to boost rates.

2. Promoting only break-bulk cargo in new development.

This is a formula for certain failure. The director's plan would serve only to bolster the operations at other ports.

Baltimore's port should be finding incentives to lure shipping lines.

It could decrease rates and fees charged to the shipping lines by the port authority and stevedoring companies for cheaper commodities such as scrap, if they will guarantee abundant shipping space and equipment. This approach will maintain and increase the volume at the port, making up for any loss per unit shipped.

One must also consider the impact on the local economy if we cater to these shipping companies any further.

We seem to forget that shipping companies are here to ship products for producers; producers aren't here to make products for shipping companies to ship.

It's time to stop rolling over and take a stand to preserve and develop Maryland business, and not worry about the interests of other parties on the West Coast and across the ocean.

Richard C. Clements


The writer is vice president and general manager of Inner Harbor Recycling Co.

Pub Date: 7/14/96

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