Working Together: The Committee on the Marine Transportation System

The U.S. marine transportation system (MTS) is a complex system of waterways; ports; their intermodal connections, vessels, and vehicles; and system users. It extends from the outer boundary of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, through its bays and sounds, ports, and waterways, to the first intermodal facility inland from the coast. International trade, defense, and diverse industries such as mineral extraction, tourism, and fishing all use this system. The U.S. MTS carries over 40% by value and 70% by weight of our export and import cargo, so it's in America's best interest that this cargo be carried efficiently, safely, securely, and in an environmentally sustainable manner. Because the MTS is such a large and complex system, many agencies at all levels of government, private industry, and the public have key roles to play in its continued health. In order to better coordinate these efforts, the president has directed the formation of an interagency working group, the interagency cabinet-level Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS). The CMTS, in developing a draft national strategy for the U.S. marine transportation system, has identified several distinct challenges. This article discusses these challenges, including an aging and capacity-constrained national infrastructure; operational inefficiencies; and a lack of coordinated MTS planning.


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  • Accession Number: 01055330
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2007 10:39AM