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Marine Highways / Short Sea Shipping Update

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council
    Sure is Norm. Our Pacific Merchant Marine Council remains supportive of all endeavors to improve the movement of goods especially over water. Getting something
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2011
      Sure is Norm.
      Our Pacific Merchant Marine Council remains supportive of all endeavors to improve the movement of goods especially over water. Getting something from point A to point B will always be intermodal but if we can reduce the use of trucks transporting containers or dry cargo over our interstate highways we all benefit.
      Thanks for this most current update!
      Heave Ho,
      Phelps Hobart, President
      Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
      The Navy League's Maritime Logistics Council
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, April 15, 2011 10:16 AM
      Subject: FW: Coastwise Update


      Some pertinent information, I believe.





      From: PaulHBea [mailto:pbea@...]  
      Sent: Friday, April 15, 2011 9:24 AM
      To: Coastwise Update
      Subject: Coastwise Update


      If this message is blocked as spam consider adding pbea@... to your contact list or, if you would not like to receive these occasional updates, tell me you would like to be removed from the distribution list.


      Dear Coastwise Coalition and Friends of the Marine Highway:

      I have a few updates to offer:

      ·       As many of you may already know Secretary LaHood announced the long awaited Marine Highway Report to Congress.  Such a report was mandated in the short sea transportation provisions of EISA 2007.  MARAD staff consider it a good reference document on the subject and for good reason.  The report identifies “impediments” to marine highway development and  “potential legislative actions” to detail various policy issues that have been raised in recent years.   While the congressional mandate opened the door to USDOT making recommendations for Hill and administration action the report does not venture that far (nor could we expect it to with OMB being the ever present arbiter of such things).  It can be a helpful guide to those on Capitol Hill nonetheless.  I commend the report to you: http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/Americas_Marine_Highway-Report_to_Congress-April_2011.pdf

      ·       I am pleased to report that yesterday Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) introduced harbor maintenance tax exemption legislation (HR 1533).  Original co-sponsors are Steve LaTourette (R-OH) and Brian Higgins (D-NY) . This is the first HMT exemption bill to be introduced in this 112th Congress.  The text is not immediately available but note that the Tiberi bill is identical to the Higgins bill (HR 3486) of last year.  Like Mr. Higgins, Mr. Tiberi is on the Ways & Means Committee.  It is no small thing to note that he also chair of the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee and thus will have an important role to play in the committee’s bill writing in the months ahead. 

      ·       Some of you were present at the Journal of Commerce’s North American Marine Highway conference at MITAGS last week and saw Secretary LaHood unveil the new report.  It was a useful program and I offer a few notes—by no means a summary of the event.

      o   During the Q&A session Secretary LaHood was given a taste of the frustration that some folks are feeling as to the level of USDOT program funding.  The Secretary acknowledged that but stressed the budgetary pressures his and other departments are under.

      o   Stan Payne of Port Canaveral noted that ports will do “their part” but suggested that until the Federal government takes action to support the construction of suitable vessels marine highway development will be more concept than reality.  He challenged MARAD to undertake a “CSI” kind of review of why short sea services have failed. 

      o   MARAD’s Lauren Brand summarized where MARAD is with the AMH program including its work with the Navy on a dual use vessel strategy, exploring how IT could apply to marine highway operations, the development of performance measures for AMH service; and development of an AMH logo revision with plans to solicit creative input from outside the agency.

      o   Sonney Jones of Dal-Tile/Mohawk Industries told the audience he is a shipper who is convinced of the benefits of marine highway transportation and is hoping for a restart of the Cross-Gulf COB service between Texas and Florida.

      o   ATA’s Curtis Whalen reiterated his view that intermodal trucking can benefit by marine highway service for reasons that include the fact that trucking will always have a role to play in the goods movement including draying freight to and from ports.

      o   VA DOT Secretary Sean Connaughton described what he is doing to improve intermodal transportation infrastructure and service including the James River COB service. He was soon to unveil a new multi-modal freight study (link below) and said he intends to work with his counterparts in AASHTO to advance marine and rail transport.   http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2011/secretary_of_transportation_releases51708.asp

      o   American Feeder Line’s Tobias Koenig described the planned Gulf-Atlantic container feeder/short sea service and gave a good summary as to why marine highway service makes eminent sense for the US market. 


      Have a good weekend.





      Paul H Bea Jr

      PHB Public Affairs


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