Future Marine Highway Development in the U.S.

The rising world population, coupled with greater economic activity, is likely to result in increasing global trade and related transport requirements over the next 20 years. This projected growth would significantly strain the limits of America's inland transportation corridors, particularly in highly-populated coastal states. Sole reliance on the nation's highways and rail network for freight distribution would lead to more traffic congestion and bottlenecks, increased greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution, and higher costs of maintaining landside transportation infrastructure. A renewed focus on integrating domestic marine transportation is a means to address such challenges while adding value and sustainability to the U.S. freight supply chain network. Services on America's marine highways, also known as short sea shipping, have the capacity to accommodate the anticipated surge in freight volumes over the coming years. The development of marine highways focuses on sharing cargo growth among land-based transport modes (truck/rail) with coastwise and inland waterway vessels as an integral component of a multimodal, continental transportation network. Interest alone does not ensure success, as there are a host of factors that contribute to the viability of marine highway services. Numerous past studies have explored the benefits of establishing coastal and inland marine highway services in the U.S., with particular focus on the anticipated environmental benefits and market potential. Too often ignored is the fact that demand for coastal domestic shipping service is driven by real-world, market considerations-both shippers and carriers require economically viable, predictable, and sustained transportation services. New marine highway initiatives intended to attract customers must offer competitive services, cost-effective and reliable operations, available infrastructure, along with environmental improvement. This paper will review the financial and operational requirements for a successful new marine highway service based on current, real-world marketplace and public policy considerations. The paper will also explore strategies that could stimulate and nurture domestic marine highway use in the U.S.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 168-177
  • Monograph Title: Ports 2013: Success through Diversification

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01523268
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784413067
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2014 3:01PM