Poor ports, no jobs

Published February 18, 2012

North Carolina didn’t even get to the stage of offering incentives to Caterpillar, the company looking to locate a new plant and 1400 jobs.

Caterpillar wanted to build here because they like our state and have plants near the site,  but we lost out to Georgia. The reason Georgia was chosen should be a wakeup call to state leaders. Legislative leaders tried to place the blame on too many regulations on corporations that make our state unattractive to corporations, but that dog won't hunt.  The bottom line is that our ports are not competitive with Charleston, Savannah and Norfolk. In the new world economy shipping parts and finished products in and out by sea is important. The widening of the Panama Canal will stimulate a new breed of supertankers, ships that need deep-water ports.

North Carolina can dredge Wilmington and Morehead City forever but our two ports won’t be competitive. North Carolina made a bad mistake many years ago when the major port was located in Wilmington instead of Southport, where it rightfully should have been and where it should be today. We have the land to build a super port in Southport. We need the vision and political will to move forward with this project or else be content to lose jobs to better ports.