The United States’ marine freight transportation system is increasingly underfunded and “facing serious challenges,” according to a report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
The report identified threats to the future of the nation’s coastal ports, inland waterways and the Great Lakes, and offered solutions, including the creation of a new “Office of Multimodal Freight” at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The report also suggested the implementation of best practices for planning and investment among federal, state, regional and local organizations to improve and modernize waterborne freight transportation in the U.S.
“The bottom line is that we cannot continue business as usual,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO’s executive director, in a written statement. “We look forward to working with Congress to make a renewed commitment to the national marine transportation network by improving the way we plan and fund this vital link in the nation's transportation system.”