Over the past decade, maritime freight transportation has trended towards larger and larger ships, resulting in the need for wider and deeper channels nationwide. Our current channel poses navigational challenges to larger vessels, particularly related to vessel draft, and the ability to safely maneuver within the current channel footprint. Larger log and chip vessels moving in and out of the Port must synchronize passage with high tides, and often leave the port in a light loaded condition to reduce draft. Vessels that are light loaded are less efficient and generates higher cost for our shippers.
Modification of the channel will provide multiple opportunities for economic development in the South Coast. The increase in width and depth will allow existing and projected future cargo vessels to have less restricted access to berths and terminals, reducing delays and increasing the efficiency of port operations. The channel modification will also increase loading efficiencies for existing and future cargo vessels, which would allow industries to transport freight at lower unit costs. The Port’s goal is to promote the use of Coos Bay’s deep-water port in order to strengthen the development of a stable, diversified, and healthy regional economy while improving the quality of life in the region. Reducing the cost of transporting goods to and from international markets improves and preserves competitiveness for U.S. goods.