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COAL PIERS AT NEWPORT NEWS, VA.

In the handling of coal one of the principal difficulties is the lack of storage facilities. Neither at the mines nor at the terminals is there provision for reserves. The mines cannot produce any more coal in any given day than the railroads can provide cars for its removal. Nor can the railroads haul more coal in a given day than the ultimate consumer can use. The result is that there is no real reservoir at either end, and the industry always has a hand-to-mouth existence. If storage facilities for coal, such as are used in the iron-ore trade, could be utilized the industry could better adjust itself to the working of the law of supply and demand. Some of the newer coaling plants can load 2,000 tons of coal into the hold of a ship in an hour. When it is remembered that it costs $1,000 a day to keep a 10,000-ton ship in commission, it will be seen how important rapid loading and unloading operations are.


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