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Ports are about to get even bigger — and higher tech

The more than 900 ports in the United States move approximately 99% of the nation’s goods, and the $4.6 trillion they generate constitutes 26% of all economic activity in the country, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. That segment of the supply chain employs more than 23 million people in port-related jobs, according to a 2015 report from the American Association of Port Authorities.

Despite the growth, American ports and the agencies and companies that run and build them are facing challenges. Their capabilities are being strained by the arrival of larger, post-Panamax ships. Older facilities are competing with newer and bigger ports that have embraced automation and energy efficiency. And construction…

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