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Seaports Magazine, Winter 2017

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK: About Those Eggs in That Basket …

Eggs in baskets call to mind spring instead of winter, but the metaphor for diversification is one everyone knows – regardless of the season. The idiom “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” typically calls to mind the importance of protecting from risk. It is generally seen as a way to ensure that any sort of mishap or disaster does not destroy all of your resources in one fell swoop.

By Kurt J. Nagle, President & CEO, American Association of Port Authorities

While mitigating risk is certainly an important benefit of diversification, there are other important benefits as well, namely, creating the opportunity for growth. If all of your potential for expansion is in one area of business, your organization may miss out on chances in other sectors.

Winter, and the beginning of a new year, is a great moment for organizations to take stock of their own portfolios in many areas. It’s a well-timed opportunity to look at how your resources are both invested and protected and where your organization will need to manage for risk and be poised to grow in the coming year.

This issue of Seaports magazine focuses on diversification in many areas. For ports, one of the most important areas to pursue diversification is in business lines. Being only in the business of cargos or cruise ships or specific commodities leaves a port open to markets that can wreak havoc if conditions turn volatile quickly. Even large container ports often handle bulk cargo, and cruise ports often look to add cargo to round out a portfolio. More and more ports these days are also developing substantial commercial real estate portfolios as yet another means of diversification. Planning, especially land-use planning, can be key to a port’s ability to grow smaller business lines into larger ones or add new business lines to the organization.

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