Joel Kotkin has an interesting article in Forbes on The Rise Of The Third Coast: The Gulf Region’s Ascendancy In U.S.
This is the part of the article that I found most interesting, as California attempts to jump start it's economy. When I graduated from the Air Force's Air Command and Staff College in 1973, I was short four credit hours for my BS degree in Social Science at Troy State University. The Air Force arranged for me to stay in Montgomery for the summer and write a paper on The Strategic Value of a Second Panama Canal.
While a second larger canal had military significance enabling the more rapid movement of the Navy's largest aircraft carriers between the Pacific and Atlantic, it also had more of an impact on commercial shipping, at the time oil. Now with the deployment of large super-container carriers, it will have even more of an impact, especially in the Gulf States which are rapidly growing their economic power structure.
"This reflects a long-term shift of money, power and jobs away from both the North Atlantic and the Pacific to the cities of the Gulf. The Port of Houston, for example, enjoyed a 28.1% jump in foreign trade this year, and trade at Louisiana’s main ports also reached records levels."
"This growth stems from a host of factors ranging from politics, demographics and energy to emerging trade patterns and new technologies.One potential game-changer is the scheduled 2014 $5.25 billion widening of the Panama Canal, which will allow the passage to accommodate ships carrying twice as much cargo as they are able to carry currently. This will open the Gulf to megaships from Pacific Basin ports such as Singapore, Shanghai, Pusan and Kaohsiung, which have mostly sent their cargos to West Coast ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach. Some analysts predict that more than 25% of this traffic could shift to Gulf and South Atlantic ports. “More of Asia will be heading to this part of the world,” says Jimmy Lyons, CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority."
As more of the Pacific Basin traffic shifts to the Gulf Coast through a much wider Panama Canal, jobs will also shift to Gulf Coast Ports. Fewer ships to unload means there will be fewer jobs in California port cities of Los Angles and Long Beach. This will have a ripple down effect down through the whole transportation industry in California, with fewer containers to ship eastward. Fewer jobs for California.