National Geographic : 1918 Nov
Photograph from Wellman-Seaver-Morgan Company COAL PIERS AT NEWPORT NEWS, VA. In the handling of coal one of the principal difficulties is the lack of storage facilities. Neither atthe mines nor atthe terminals isthere provision for reserves. The mines cannot produce any more coal in any given day than the railroads canprovide cars for itsremoval. Nor can the railroads haul more coal in a given day than the ultimate consumer can use. The result is that there isnoreal reservoir ateither end, and the industry always has a hand-to-mouth existence. If storage facilities for coal, such as are used inthe iron-ore trade, could beutilized the industry could better adjust itself to the working of the law of supply and demand. Some of the newer coaling plants canload 2,000 tons ofcoal into the hold of a ship in an hour. When it is remembered that it costs $I,ooo a day to keep a 1o,ooo-tonship incommission, itwill beseen how impor tant rapid loading and unloading operations are.