NORTHEAST PORTS - ProvPort bulks up

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

The Port of Providence’s terminal operator, ProvPort, specializes in a diverse mixture of bulk and breakbulk cargoes. As with most East Coast bulk/breakbulk operators, 2006 looks good for the terminal operator.By George Lauriat, AJOTJay Baird, director of marketing for ProvPort, a bulk and breakbulk terminal operator in Providence, Rhode Island, says his business outlook is good. “We think the outlook is very positive,” Baird said of the bulk/breakbulk market worldwide. ProvPort, founded in 1994, handles a wide variety of commodities including LPG, scrap metal, salt, coal, cement, aggregate, chemicals and plywood. The Port has a nice mix of facilities that include six deep water berths totaling 3,500 linear feet combined, three warehouses (300,000 sq. ft.) and 20 acres of paved open storage area. For liquid bulk, ProvPort is the owner of its own Petroleum Tank Farm totaling some 335,000 barrels of capacity. The Port also has on-dock rail access with three rail spurs. The on-the-dock rail is run by the Providence and Worcester Railroad, and has a loop system that enables the port to offer direct vessel to rail loading.
“At ProvPort we handle around two million tons per year,” Baird said. “We just added limestone from Nova Scotia to the mix this year,” he added.
Cement is also a major commodity handled by the port. ProvPort has two separate on-dock cement storage facilities. Glens Falls Lehigh Cement (GFLC) established its New England Distribution Center at ProvPort. The facility is capable of loading and transporting cement by truck or rail.
Another commodity that has done well for ProvPort is plywood. According to Baird, “The plywood is from China, Malaysia and Indonesia.” The company also has been handling copper from Peru and Chile on a monthly breakbulk service. Coal has also been an important commodity for the company. The company has rail, barge and truck service to handle the coal shipments. “Coal could increase,” Baird noted, “as Northeast utility companies increase their usage. Of course, coal demand is predicated on the price of foreign coal versus domestic, and the availability of vessels, but we expect that it will increase.”
In the immediate future, Baird thinks that the breakbulk commodities will continue to rise. “Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are likely to boost totals, and we could see exports of scrap metal. We also expect to see an increase in forest products,” Baird revealed.

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American Journal of Transportation