"Inland Waterways and the Global Supply Chain" an International Conference Report on "SmartRivers 2006" is currently available at the Port of Pittsburgh Commission website www.port.pittsburgh.pa.us. SmartRivers is a coalition to benchmark best practices for inland waterways, on both sides of the Atlantic, and to help those waterways better integrate themselves into the global supply chain. â€œBenchmarking conferences were held in Pittsburgh in 2005 and in Brussels, Belgium Europe in 2006. They specifically compared differences in the development of container-on-barge traffic, the role of technology and comparative policies to encourage river traffic
James R. McCarville, Executive Director for the Port of Pittsburgh Commission.
It set out the strategic similarities and differences of the US and European Union (EU) inland waterway systems.
â€œWhile the US system moves much greater volumes of goods on its river system, European policies encourages the movement of higher value goods, especially containers. It is a different way of looking at waterways. In Europe waterways are looked upon much more as a solution to problems of traffic pollution and congestion", said McCarville.
The report states, EU policies, such as the Marco Polo program, seek "to affect a modal shift from trucks to rail and waterways".
The report was prepared by Arno Hart of the RNO Group for AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) and conference sponsors. It was published by Marshall University's Rahall Transportation Institute.
Source: James R McCarville, Executive Director, Port of Pittsburgh Commission