Rep. Nadler sees æshort seaÆ role in sustaining harbor hubs
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., told the Maritime Administration's third annual short sea shipping conference on its closing day that the concept of using inland and coastal waters to move containers off highways had a place in an emerging hub-and-feeder system that will soon alter trading patterns along the U.S. East Coast.
'We have a megalopolis developing from Richmond, Va., to New Hampshire,' Nadler said. The only viable U.S. port hubs that can service that huge region are in Norfolk and New York, assuming that the Port of New York and New Jersey's channels are deepened to the requisite depths to handle 8,000-TEU containerships, Nadler said.
'Radial links by water to the hub ports are going to be an essential part of a port inland distribution system,' he said.
Nadler said he and other in Congress were 'eagerly awaiting' studies concerning short sea shipping that are in progress under the auspices of the MarAd and other sources. 'First, we need studies, followed by funding, which must be of a nature that doesn't inhibit the functions it's supposed to help,' he said.
In Nadler's view, the U.S. short sea shipping infrastructure should be funded by general tax revenues and not by specific user taxes. The Bush administration disagrees, believing general revenues should not be used for transportation purposes, he said.