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Conley Terminal, Massport

Trump tariffs could cost Massport millions on infrastructure project

PortandTerminal.com, June 4, 2019

Should the tariff be implemented on these cranes, the cost will increase by at least $10 million, significantly impacting Massport’s ability to modernize Conley Terminal

Boston, MA – Massport officials are pushing to keep the large new container cranes they plan to buy off of the list of tariffs on Chinese imports the Boston Herald reported on Tuesday.

Higher levies on goods from China would add millions of dollars to the project to help the Conley Terminal handle the increasingly larger ships companies use.

Conley Container Terminal has set volume records in four consecutive years, processing 283,720 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in FY2018. “Purchasing these new cranes will help us keep the positive momentum going at Conley Terminal,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn.

“Should the tariff be implemented on these cranes, the cost will increase by at least $10 million, significantly impacting Massport’s ability to modernize Conley Terminal,” Massachusetts Port Authority officials wrote in a letter to the delegation.

Massport is in the process of acquiring three large ship-to-shore cranes so the Paul W. Conley Marine Terminal can handle larger vessels. In addition to the new ship-to-shore cranes, Conley Terminal improvements include the construction of two 50-foot berths, expanded reefer storage, and new in-and-out gate facilities. 

Lisa Weiland, Massport Port Director

“These cranes are only manufactured in China, and there are no alternatives,” Lisa Wieland, Massport Port Director, told the Boston Herald.

President Trump has ordered tariffs on a wide range of the country’s imports from China in several rounds over the past year, and the administration has discussed adding more in the future as the two global powers attempt to negotiate an agreement. Massport Port Director Lisa Wieland said the cranes were slated to be included in a previous raft of tariffs, but Massport and other related organizations successfully lobbied to keep them off of it then.

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