Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


United States ports along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are engaged in fierce competition among themselves to attract existing and future trade. This competition has served to force modernization and expansion of facilities in all the ports. The effort is running into the billions of dollars and there are concerns that there is too much duplication of costly facilities. The Port of New Orleans benefits from its location at the southern terminus of the Mississippi River System. Until five years ago it was the sole significant transhipment node between the nation's midsection and its customers and suppliers. In 1985, with the opening of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, the port of Mobile gained access to the Mississippi River system and set out to compete for trade that once had no alternative transhipment point. The unanswered question is whether or not the investments being made to improve competitiveness will prove to be resources well spent or wastefully dissipated. The answer may be cooperation vice competition.