Ports have received little attention compared to other infrastructure systems such
as: buildings, bridges, water, and power systems. This lack of attention is surprising
considering the importance of uninterrupted operations at ports. For example, a 10-day
labor lockout at the ports on the west coast of the US had an estimated daily economic
impact of billion (Caltrade, 2008). The 1995 Hoyogken-Nanbu earthquake, which
caused severe damage to the Port of Kobe provides an example of the long term effects of
heavy port damage. After the earthquake, the port struggled to make extensive repairs,
and shipping companies were forced to find other ports to continue shipping operations.
With little incentive for the companies to return, the Port of Kobe never returned to its
pre-earthquake throughput (Chang, 2000). The city of Kobe, which was also struggling
to rebuild, had to do so with a significantly reduced economic base. Therefore, with
container traffic in the US expected to continue to grow, protecting the seaports from
seismic damage should be a high priority.
Researchers should cite this work as follows: