The East Coast Marine Highway Initiative, a partnership between Port Canaveral, the Port of New Bedford, Mass. and the Port of Baltimore, Md. has received recognition as an initiative in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new Marine Highways Program. The Department’s Maritime Administration chose eight projects and six initiatives from 35 applications submitted by ports and local transportation agencies.
The initiative proposes to develop a Marine Highway service utilizing a fleet of existing and new-build U.S. flag vessels to transport both domestic and international containers and trailers to destinations along the I-95 corridor in order to relieve vehicle congestion and truck traffic. As an official Marine Highways Initiative, Port Canaveral and its partners are eligible for DOT support in research development and market analysis for the East Coast Marine Highway corridor, which, in turn, could lead to federal funding opportunities.
“We have been at the forefront of national Marine Highway discussions for many years. This designation legitimizes our role in a nationally recognized program,” stated Port Authority Chairman Tom Goodson.
“This is a solid first step in moving a Marine Highway service, often called Short Sea Shipping, from concept to reality,” said Port Canaveral CEO J. Stanley Payne. “We are grateful to the DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and Maritime Administrator David Matsuda for recognizing the value of utilizing our waterways to relieve road congestion, to provide jobs, and to improve the environment.”