Maritime System of the Americas refers to the waterways between central portions of the United States and Canada to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean countries, and the northern rim of South America. The general objective of this first phase of the research program is to examine the viability of river/ocean vessels (1500 to 3000 dwt) and river barges. A transportation cost optimization model was developed to estimate costs for different shipping distances and commodities to and from U.S. and Mexican ports for the marine mode and to compare to direct rail services. The comparative cost advantages are most obvious for bulk shipments using river barges with transshipment to ocean vessels compared to rail unit trains. A specialized niche market exists for high value general cargo shipments in small lots moving by river/ocean vessel as an alternative to carload rail service. River/ocean vessels offer the greatest savings for movements between the lower and middle Mississippi River up to St. Louis and southern Mexican coastal ports in the Yucatan. These vessels are also cost competitive for high value shipments to the vicinity of Mexico City via central Mexican Gulf ports.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by Maritime Administration, Washington, DC., and Office of Technology Assessment, Washington, DC.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Ports and Waterways Inst.

    Washington, DC  United States 

    Maritime Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Office of Technology Assessment

    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Publication Date: 1993-11-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 173 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00666532
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MA-PORT-830-94001
  • Contract Numbers: DTMA91-92-CA-200094
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 3 1994 12:00AM