Trade and Transportation: A Study of North American Port and Intermodal Systems

Accounting for nearly 20% of the annual world ocean borne trade, the United States is the worlds largest importer and exporter of manufactured and containerized goods amounting to 15 billion tons valued at $9.1 trillion. This report examines the current capacity of the transportation infrastructure to meet today's demands and evaluates projected economic trends to determine the future capabilities required to meet double and triple trade import and export expansion by the year 2020. Current port, rail and freight trucking hubs are at or nearing capacity. Not only are ports facing increased capacity demands, ports are also considered the "front line" in the war against terrorism and perform as gatekeepers against weapons of mass destruction and terrorists. Rail lines and freight distribution hubs, also considered front line allies with ports, are beginning to realize key choke points as freight movement reaches current freight distribution capacity. The report concludes with several proposals: there should be a national program for freight planning and development to focus resources where needed most to meet demand; there should be a coordinated approach to an "intermodal system" which can address national transportation priorities to encourage more "cross-talk" between and among infrastructure partners, and there should be more of a comprehensive, national effort with public/private partnerships. Additionally, there should be a National Freight Policy which can coordinate and institutionalize plans 1. to promote an intermodal system geared toward timely freight distribution and effective information technology and 2. to address infrastructure strengths and weaknesses.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Chamber Foundation

    1615 H Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20062
  • Publication Date: 2003


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Maps;
  • Pagination: 44p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001163
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 22 2005 11:47AM