MARAD: INTERMODAL ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS ôGOOD ENOUGH FOR NOWö
A U.S. Maritime Administration report has found that intermodal access to the country’s ports is “good enough for now,” but will likely come under strain in a few years.
“Getting a ship into port is only part of the story,” said Maritime Administrator William G. Schubert. “If the goods can’t move quickly away from the water, then our transportation system isn’t doing the job.”
The report, “Intermodal Access to U.S. Ports,” was based on a survey of 70 percent of American ports, with a focus on the condition of roadways, rail and waterside access.
“Significant access issues are found on the local access roads to ports, and at-grade rail crossings,” MarAd said. “Truck-only routes are of increasing significance as cargo volumes grow and there is a critical need to separate freight and passenger traffic on local roads and on state/interstate roads.”
However, the report found “positive results” for local intermodal investments. More than 90 percent of the ports surveyed reported “acceptable or higher conditions in terms of the availability of on-dock rail facilities and aids to navigation on the waterways,” MarAd said.
The agency said it would continue to monitor access to marine ports and terminals on an annual basis.