The Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Maritime Information Service of North America
, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further develop the Marine Transportation System (MTS). MISNA is a non-profit maritime organization established to provide communications, information and services to ensure safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible maritime operations.
MISNA's membership is largely composed of marine exchanges. Some of the products and services MISNA provides to its clients, governmental entities, and the interested public are vessel monitoring, information on arrivals and departures, vessel traffic analysis, ship tracking
, and port and terminal utilization studies.
"The MOU will greatly assist the Maritime Administration in their ongoing efforts to assist the MTS National Advisory Council with
MTS regional coordination, information gathering, and the development of initiatives to address marine system infrastructure needs," said Raymond Barberesi of MARAD, who serves as Executive Director of the MTS National Advisory Council.
"This is an important step in the development of the MTS initiative from a grass-roots perspective," said Captain William Schubert, United States Maritime Administrator. "Coordination at a regional level is vital. We look forward to working with MISNA to utilize their invaluable information network and craft a marine infrastructure improvement proposals that reflect local need," he said.
Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta has asked the MTS National Advisory Council to assess marine system needs and report back to him with system improvement recommendations. The MOU specifically requires MISNA to seek and communicate with MARAD ways that the maritime community can assist in the accomplishments of national MTS objectives.