Marine transportation system? Ships and stuff, right? More than that. It is the connection of land and water transportation infrastructure and the freight and passenger operations that use that infrastructure. It is modal elements in combination–intermodal transportation–and comprises a surprisingly substantial portion of the national surface transportation system. Some parts of the MTS reach beyond port regions and the densely populated coastal states; its corridors stretch to and through interior states.
In 1999, USDOT gave it a name and with stakeholder involvement gave it definition. It acknowledged that marine transportation–that neglected and off-shore mode, often out of mind–was part of an interconnected system. In the years that followed the spectacular growth in global commerce put a spotlight on the important role the MTS plays in the national economy. And given the growing strains on road and rail capacity the MTS the marine portion is seen as having an important role in assuring American mobility in the years ahead.
MTS matters? Of course it does. This blog highlights information that we find interesting and on point–reports, stories, data, studies, opinions, and developments in policy and business. And maybe there will be an occasional diversion just to keep things interesting. Comments and corrections are welcome.
This is our blogging crew, supplemented occasionally by a guest contributor:
- Paul Bea gave a start to MTS Matters and is blogger-in-chief. His government, public affairs, and policy work in Washington, D.C. has covered over 40 years, most of that centered on the port/maritime sector and the MTS. In 2006 he left the public sector and started PHB Public Affairs. He advises public entity, private sector, and association clients. Marine highway, port and goods movement infrastructure issues are among those that engage his time and interest. His affiliations include The Ferguson Group LLC and Maritime Transport & Logistics Advisors, LLC.
- John Graykowski is a Principal of Maritime Industry Consultants specializing in maritime and transportation policy. He is an attorney with experience in staff positions in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and as Senior VP and General Counsel of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. He was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Deputy Maritime Administrator in the U.S. Department of Transportation and held the Acting Administrator post for two years. During his tenure at the Maritime Administration, Mr. Graykowski was responsible for the management and implementation of maritime programs and policies including implementation of the National Shipbuilding Initiative, operation of the Title XI loan guarantee program and development of the Marine Transportation System (MTS) initiative.
- Tom Wakeman is a Research Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. Previously, he was employed by the Port Commerce Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco and Sacramento Districts. Dr. Wakeman has extensive experience in navigation, port development, and freight transportation planning. He is an active member of Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.
Through MTS Matters we share our individual interests, insights and opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any organizations with which we are affiliated.
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