Improving U.S. Freight Transportation System

By Eric Haun
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation published its final report on United States freight transportation, offering an assessment of its current condition with recommendations for strengthening nationwide infrastructure and U.S. economy.

The panel, led by its Chairman, U.S. Rep John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), was founded by Full Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-W.Va.) in April 2013 to examine U.S. freight transportation, the role it plays on the nation’s economy and ways in which it may be improved, including financially, structurally and technologically.

The Freight Panel offered to Congress a list of suggestions to “safely and efficiently meet the needs of freight movement in the 21st century:”

  • Direct the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Secretary of the Army and the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, to establish a comprehensive national freight transportation policy and designate a national, multimodal freight network;
  • Ensure robust public investment in all modes of transportation on which freight movement relies, and incentivize additional private investment in freight transportation facilities, to maintain and improve the condition and performance of the freight transportation network;
  • Promote and expedite the development and delivery of projects and activities that improve and facilitate the efficient movement of goods;
  • Authorize dedicated, sustainable funding for multimodal freight Projects of National and Regional Significance through a grant process and establish clear benchmarks for project selection. Projects eligible for such funding would have a regional or national impact on the overall performance of the multimodal freight network identified by the Secretary of Transportation;
  • Direct the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of the Army, to identify and recommend sustainable sources of revenue across all modes of transportation that would provide the necessary investment in the Nation’s multimodal freight network and align contributions with use of, and expected benefit of increased investment in, such network; and
  • Review, working through the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Ways and Means, the Secretary’s freight funding and revenue recommendations and develop specific funding and revenue options for freight transportation projects prior to Congress’ consideration of the surface transportation reauthorization bill in 2014.


Though not much is remarkably new in the 104-page report, what is new is the more significantly unified, bipartisan Congressional support behind it. Freight infrastructure undoubtedly requires an up and down enhancement to advance its position in global trade markets, and the House now seems ready to back it. The renewed vision includes an open search for ongoing, sustained revenue sources to improve U.S. freight infrastructure across all modes.

Ports, harbors, rail, bridges, roads, etc. are all targets for improvement, but the question remains as to how infrastructural developments can be funded, and new taxes are not off the table. The Freight Panel remains optimistic that a solution will be reached. They believe it’s no longer a matter of if, but when a Congressional Bill is prepared.

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

APM Maasvlakte II Terminal Opens

APM Terminals Maasvlakte II held a ceremony  to celebrate the opening of the world’s most automated container terminal.   The  event that was attended by Dutch

Skangass Celebrates Topping Up

Nordic liquefied natural gas operator Skangass  has celebrated a topping out ceremony at its Pori LNG terminal. The company said it was making progress in the

Zim Offers Asia-US east coast service via Suez

Israeli liner carrier Zim Integrated Shipping Services is launching a new service between Asia and the U.S. East Coast via the Suez Canal at the end of May.   The

News

Goliat FPSO in Norway

The Goliat FPSO was successfully floated off the heavy-lift vessel, Dockwise Vanguard, in the fjord outside Hammerfest, says Eni Norge    The Goliat platform has arrived in Hammerfest,

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Long Beach, Los Angeles ports host forum to gather input

More than 100 cargo owners, trucking firm leaders, longshore labor, marine terminals and other goods movement industry representatives turned out Wednesday for

Government Update

Judge Orders Migrant Boat to Remain in Custody

An Italian judge on Friday ordered that the presumed captain of a migrant boat that sank with the loss of more than 700 lives should remain in custody after prosecutors

Iran Moves Ships, Reducing Tensions Near Yemen

A flotilla of nine Iranian military and cargo ships that U.S. officials feared was carrying arms to strife-torn Yemen sailed northeast in the direction of Iran on Friday,

Rescue Ships Head for Libya, as Migrants Die Also in Balkans

British and German warships made ready to sail for waters off Libya as Europe ramped up rescue operations in the Mediterranean after up to 900 desperate migrants

Logistics

Norwegian Car Carriers to Buy Two from Hyundai Samho

Oslo-listed Norwegian Car Carriers (NOCC) has signed a contract with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries for the construction of two 6500 ceu Pure Car Truck Carrier (OCTCs).

APM Maasvlakte II Terminal Opens

APM Terminals Maasvlakte II held a ceremony  to celebrate the opening of the world’s most automated container terminal.   The  event that was attended by Dutch

Goliat FPSO in Norway

The Goliat FPSO was successfully floated off the heavy-lift vessel, Dockwise Vanguard, in the fjord outside Hammerfest, says Eni Norge    The Goliat platform has arrived in Hammerfest,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1611 sec (6 req/sec)