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MASSPORT'S SEAPORT INVESTMENT STRATEGY PREPARATION FOR POSITIVE GROWTH IN CARGO TONNAGES

 BOSTON, Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- With container import tonnage on the upsurge in the first three quarters of 1992 -- increasing 13 percent over the first three quarters of 1991 from 472,486 tons to 522,852 tons -- the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) is aggressively pursuing a comprehensive Seaport Investment Strategy.
 The strategy, consisting of important container terminal, dredging, and rail components, is designed to ensure that the Port of Boston can handle the shipping industry's increasingly larger vessels, as well as the growing opportunities generated by joint Massport and Commonwealth of Massachusetts trade missions to key European and Far Eastern markets.
 "One of the major components of our Seaport Investment Strategy is to guarantee that our container terminals are ready for the demands of the year 2000," said Massport Executive Director Alden S. Raine. "Our $50 million, 5-year capital program at Conley Terminal will add 20 feet to the height of our two existing cranes, double our berth size, and put two new post-Panamax cranes into service. In addition, we've already invested $6 million to make Moran Terminal a more efficient operation."
 Pointing to the growth already evidenced in the first three quarters of 1992, including the first increase in import tonnage since 1988, Raine emphasized the importance of decisively taking action on initiatives that go far beyond our terminal investments.
 "Our Seaport Investment Strategy does more than just focus on our container terminals," continued Raine. "It also takes into consideration key land and sea connections to those terminals, including improved rail connections, dredging of the major shipping channels in Boston Harbor, and cooperation on the Third Harbor Tunnel~Central Artery roadway project."
 Massport is working with the Weld Administration and the Canadian Pacific and Guilford railroads to improve rail service to portside, through a connection between Moran Terminal in Charlestown and a rail transfer site in Ayer, Mass. It has also negotiated with Conrail for rates consistent with those charged at other ports, reducing costs by approximately $200 per container, and is seeking options for introducing doublestack service to the port.
 On the water side, Massport is the local sponsor in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project to dredge the Reserved Channel and Mystic River to 40 feet and the Chelsea Creek to 38 feet. The dredging, expected to begin in the Spring of 1995, will allow the port to handle increasingly larger ships, keeping costs of fuel and consumer goods stable for the regional economy.
 Boston's location as the first port-of-call inbound for European cargo has made Europe our largest trading partner, with European cargo currently comprising 65 percent of total trade through Boston's seaport terminals. It is expected that regular trade initiatives, the attractive exchange rate for Europeans, EC 1992 progress, and the continuing democratization of Eastern Europe will further swell this market area and expand total tonnages moving through the Port of Boston. Increased opportunities also exist on Far East and Latin American trade routes.
 The Seaport Investment Strategy is a major factor in Massport's overall program to help Massachusetts rediscover the Port of Boston. Through aggressive seaport modernization and ongoing investments in such developments as the East Boston Piers Park (the largest waterfront park in Boston), the World Trade Center expansion, the Harborside Conference Center & Hotel, and the Central Artery~Third Harbor Tunnel project, Massport is creating jobs while making the waterfront productive, inviting, open, and accessible.
 "We intend to be ready today for tomorrow's opportunities," declared Raine. "Our Seaport Investment Strategy is our action plan for the future."
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Lana Shanbar Razdan of Massport, 617-973-5757~


CO: Massachusetts Port Authority ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:

CH -- NE019 -- 2548 11~18~92 16:52 EST
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Date:Nov 18, 1992
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