Two Very Different Ports Moving Rhode Island Forward
National Port Leader: Present Arrangement
"Can only mean more business and job
opportunities for Rhode Island"
The Port of Davisville at Quonset Business Park is Rhode Island's only public port, open to all shipping customers. The Port of Providence is made up of six independently owned and operated terminals. ProvPort is a non-profit organization charged with running the largest of these terminals, on the site of the former municipal Port of Providence. Although very different, both Davisville and Providence are thriving, and actively working in tandem to help drive Rhode Island's economy forward.
President of the AAPA
"Rhode Island is fortunate to have a number of marine terminals along Narragansett Bay that have found ways to serve different types of cargoes," said Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)., an Alexandria, VA. - based trade organization representing seaports throughout the Western Hemisphere. "Each terminal has found its own niche of customers and cargo, which helps business grow at each place."
"The ultimate beneficiary," he added, "is the Rhode Island economy."
For the Port of Davisville, the auto-import business is thriving because of the available laydown space within close vicinity of the piers. The clean, open air spaces ensure manufacturers that their autos won't be subject to heavy congestion, dust or smog. These factors, and competitive pricing, have helped make the Port of Davisville the 7th largest auto-importer in North America.
At ProvPort and the other terminals on the Providence River, the bulk cargo business drives their success. Whether it be salt, coal, scrap or some kind of liquid cargo, many bulk commodity customers find the Port of Providence an ideal place to ship their goods. With a draft depth of 40' feet and its long history of serving industrial companies, ProvPort is seen as one of the top ports on the East Coast for transporting bulk materials. In fact, Quonset officials often refer bulk business leads to ProvPort.
Both Ports are looking to expand their market in the break bulk and project cargo business. With the addition of the new mobile harbor crane at the Port of Davisville, and the prospective acquisition of two high performance cranes at ProvPort, both secured through federal TIGER grants, the ports can attract additional container and project cargo business. ProvPort and Davisville also share the same union longshoremen, where individuals may staff one port on one day, and work at the other port on the next day.
AAPA's CEO also noted that the momentum the ports are realizing can be attributed to their autonomy. "Both Providence and Davisville each have their own wheelhouse or niche, and there's not much overlap, so it appears to be an ideal situation for the state's economy," said Mr. Nagle. "With both ports pursuing more cargo, it can only mean more business and job opportunities for Rhode Island."