Saturday, November 02, 2013

De Rooy's Letter: Short Sea Shipping

I've written before that I like the idea of Short Sea Shipping (SSS). I'll disagree with Sylvia De Rooy's letter in yesterday's Times- Standard that there is no downside to it. There certainly could be a downside and I object to the suggestion that trucks are a scourge to the area and it would be a good thing to remove them from our roads.

Those horrible trucks provide good paying jobs that SSS will likely not come close to replacing. After all, it takes a handful of crew to run a barge and a relative handful of people to load and unload a barge. What are those truckers going to do if their jobs end up being replaced?

I reject the notion De Rooy and other environmentalists have of all those displaced truckers just magically "finding something else to do".

Short Sea Shipping might well be a good idea. If so, let's let it happen on its own. Let's not suggest getting rid of trucks and their good paying jobs is a valid reason for pursuing it.

18 Comments:

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my dad worked on a tow boat for years hauling barges mainly from the San Francisco area up to Alaska I know those tow boats go through a godly amount of diesel fuel I wonder what the overall amount of fuel is compared to trucking the same amount of goods but at least with tow boats you don't have to worry about damage to the road and congestion on the highways and cities
THC

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a postscript I would be willing to bet they would figure out some way to do a coastal realignment to make it easier for the big boats to come in and out at the cost of the taxpayers to benefit the big business most of which are tax exempt
THC

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She has no idea what she is talking about. All her letters and comments are based on ignorance. I'm surprised the T.S. printed her baseless thoughts.

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

She has no idea what she is talking about. All her letters and comments are based on ignorance.

You'd do better to explain why she's wrong, rather than just to say she doesn't know what she's talking about. She's not the only one who supports Short Sea Shipping.

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do like the idea of getting trucks off the road. We need to stop using the excuse of" jobs lost" to blind ourselves to the changes that need to be made to move forward in the 21st century. Global warming alone is reason to change our antiquated wayof thinking

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I do like the idea of getting trucks off the road. We need to stop using the excuse of" jobs lost" to blind ourselves to the changes that need to be made to move forward in the 21st century.

By the time you folks ban everything you think causes global warming, nobody will have a job.

 
At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fastest growing part of the job market is in the "green" arena. I said nothing about banning anything. I have one grown child and no grandchildren and I still want a future world where your grandchildren can live and breath and have food. The U.N. is predicting that global warming/climate change will affect food production on earth. Not talking about banning...talking about planning.

 
At 6:01 AM, Anonymous democratic Jon said...

This is fascinating. This is the 3rd take of yours in a couple of weeks that I think deserves critical analysis. I am overwhelmed in real life now but should have ime in a week or two. I have a similar question to 5:43 pm...let's assume SSS is a more efficient model -both economically and environmentally. Also assume it comes with a higher upfront cost to develop infrastructure (this is where public financing could and should come in to "encourage and incentivize" industry or trade or business or jobs or whatever). Making those assumptions wouldn't we all, especially libertarians (except the upfront cost bit, I could see where that would be a problem with the 'tarians), wouldn't we all be for it?

The unions and anyone else who just want to save jobs for job's sake would be against it, but this is where this Democrat and unions differ. We can't save jobs for jobs sake unless we are doing it specifically for an acknowledged reason (ie Kensian public sector spending) and for a temporary period.

In this case the free market should reign and businesses should be allowed, with public help, to take the right economic and environmental path. This is the heart of smart growth btw, it's about having your cake and eating it too, which is possible if we govern, well, smartly.

And btw, Fred, I hope you realize the huge contradiction in your Libertarian philosophy here. Assuming the SSS can be funded with private capital and still run a profit any protection of jobs would have to take the form of regulation of one sort or another even if it is simply disallowing the infrastructure necessary. I'm not sure if you are aware of what an important wedge issue this could be. Not necessarily the SSS issue specifically, but the theoretical idea of protecting jobs for jobs sake.

Actually, it's not theoretical at all is it? Now that I think about it. It's the old timber v spotted owl fight that I witnessed only second hand growing up in the Bay Area. That is a losing wedge issue that divides Democrats into a growing environmental camp and a union camp. The response is growth, but SMART growth which means jobs, (different ones and let's work together to make the industrial rather than retail) so.. Jobs, AND a better environment.

Framing this as SSS vs trucking jobs is fascinating coming from you because it demonstrates that in the end the free market isn't the be all end all. In economic matters, you are for inefficiency and regulation, but as long as the private sector is the one being inefficient and regulatory.

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

And btw, Fred, I hope you realize the huge contradiction in your Libertarian philosophy here.

Not at all. Once again you're showing some difficulty in understanding the written word.

We already have ships and barges delivering things to and from the bay (in case you were unaware, most of our gasoline is brought in by barge). The infrastructure is already there to accept SSS, at least to some extent.

If some shipping company wants to take a crack at delivering our routine needs, they already have that opportunity and they're welcome to have at it, as far as I'm concerned. To suggest taking trucks off the road is a good reason for doing so is silly.

The jobs that would probably be lost as a result of SSS should be considered an unfortunate consequence of SSS, not a reason for doing so as De Rooy (and others) suggests.

 
At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK.... were to start? 600 trucks a week!!!!! Wow! Shipping is a two way street. What's going to be put on these SSS to ship OUT of Humboldt Bay? Marijuana, goat cheese,maybe some flowers. A trucks max wiegh is 80'000 know matter how long it is. SSS is a pipe dream! Just like the R.R.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

What's going to be put on these SSS to ship OUT of Humboldt Bay?

Good point, although the barges that bring in our gas don't take anything with them. It depends on whether it would be worth it to just bring things one way.

Another thing, despite De Rooy suggesting SSS would be more reliable than ground transport, it probably won't. I brought up this issue some time ago and actually called Renner Petroleum to ask about the barge operation. I was told they usually make it in but sometimes the Coast Guard won't allow them through the channel if the weather is too rough.

There's also the time factor. Trucks make it up here in a day. I don't know that barges could do the same.

Bottom line is that it will be up to the shipping companies as to whether they think it's worth it. Since we have to fight to get airlines to come here, and we've already lost Greyhound bus service ( I think) it looks like it might be a stretch to think any shipping company would try to replace ground transport. But, it's up to them.

 
At 5:02 PM, Anonymous democraticJon said...

Lost Greyhound? Did I miss something? Checked out the site, it's still stopping in Eureka. Seriously I didn't hear we might be losing Greyhound. That would be pretty big imho. Do you have a link?

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

At best, they killed the Grayhound stations in Eureka and Arcata. My recollection is now you just show up in front of someplace and they stop at a certain time.

Actually, I don't know that I've seen a Greyhound bus around here in some years. I have seen that federally subsidized one, the name with escapes me now, but I don't recall seeing a Greyhound. Either in Eureka or elsewhere. Maybe I just missed it?

 
At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GrEyhound runs every day

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Amtrak is the one I've seen. They have some federally subsidized bus route.

 
At 6:14 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Wow! I was just checking out the Greyhound web site. I can't find Eureka mentioned anywhere. All I could find was larger cities for starting points or destinations.
www.greyhound.com

Crappy web site,imo, if it's so hard to find a way to get tickets for smaller towns.

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is more than one way to do SSS . See John Driscoll's piece in T-S from 2008. Http://www.times-standard.com/ci-11078314 do we want to abandon that idea. is this a new bunch of people?

 
At 7:45 AM, Blogger Zoltan Welvart said...

Few fight for scraps.become productive , invest in algae cultivation, fed mined plankton, like mayans, people will follow, you, with incentive.

 

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