The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing their study on Brandon Road next week and every indication is that it barely touches on industry concerns and has ignored concerns from the State of Illinois. As a result, our understanding is that this study will fall short of the necessary actions to address Asian carp & other aquatic invasive species in a way that that fall short of their goals. This is bad for any industry or company that uses the Chicago Area Waterways—or the waterways in general—as a part of their operations. A number of you have been pressing the Trump Administration to delay release but we have to assume the study will go out.

In response, the State of Illinois is hosting a Town Hall Tuesday, February 28th from 12-2pm at the Western Illinois University Quad City Campus (330 River Dr., Moline, IL) and industry must attend to show how important this issue is.

Illinois has asked for industry representatives to attend and show their concern and apply pressure to the Army Corps. I am asking that if your organization has employees, customers, partners, or anyone who has a stake in the waterways please send them to this event. We anticipate this release will have a significant amount of press along with it and it is important that industry shows it is paying attention.

Please share this email with your members, colleagues, and others who might be able to attend the town hall and help pressure the Army Corps.

 

From our friends at AWO: What are Asian Carp and Why Are They in U.S. Waters?

•             Four invasive species are commonly known as Asian carp.  Under the guidance of the USFWS, they were introduced into the U.S. for aquaculture and biological control of plankton.

•             Some science indicates that Lake Michigan does not have the characteristics needed for the establishment of a carp population, such as a sufficient food source or the proper breeding environment.

•             The discovery of two juvenile fish does not provide evidence that a new colony of fish has been established, or that the carp population migrated upstream.

•             The ACRCC reported in its 2015 Control Framework that the leading edge of the Asian carp population has not changed since 2006.

 

Support measures to maintain navigation while preventing Asian Carp spread. Per the UOJ Members:

  • The towing industry is dedicated to the highest standards of environmental stewardship and support robust measures to mitigate the movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS) between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes basins.
  • UOJ members support cooperative and balanced solutions to the problems of invasive species, as an integrated approach can arrest the advance of the Asian carp, protect the Great Lakes ecosystem, and maintain safe, efficient and environmentally sound navigation on vital commercial waterways.
  • For more than a decade, the tugboat, towboat and barge industry has worked in partnership with key federal and state agencies to develop long-term solutions to prevent the spread of invasive species while maintaining the nation’s vital commercial waterways.
  • Since 2010, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources estimates the Asian carp population within the Dresden Pool area has decreased by 68% due to overfishing efforts.

 


 

Multiple notices for your consideration:

January 11th:

Dear IRPT Members,Please see the multiple notices below for your consideration:Wednesday, January 11, 2017: MARAD Proposed Rulemaking regarding America’s Marine Highway

Maritime Administration (MARAD) has opened a public comment period for a notice of proposed rulemaking. SUMMARY: This notice serves to inform interested parties and the public that the Maritime Administration (MARAD) proposes to revise in full Title 46 Part 393 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which concerns the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP). This action is necessary to implement provisions of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 (CGMTA), to improve AMHP processes and to streamline the regulations. MARAD solicits written comments on this proposed rulemaking.

Comments must be received on or before March 13, 2017. MARAD will consider comments filed after this date to the extent practicable.

You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket Number MARAD–2016–0130 by

  • Email: MH@dot.gov. Include MARAD–2016–0130 in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail/Hand-Delivery/Courier: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590.

Why and how is MARAD revising the regulations? As part of routine systematic review of existing regulations, MARAD is updating its AMHP implementing regulations to conform to statutory changes and streamline the regulations for ease of use. Accordingly, the proposed rule revises in full the AMHP implementing regulations to: (1) Add ‘‘promote short sea shipping’’ as a purpose of the AMHP; (2) re-designate ‘‘corridors, connectors, and crossings’’ as used in the rule as ‘‘Routes’’ for purposes of simplicity; (3) expand and clarify the definition of AMHP-eligible cargo to include discrete units or packages that are handled individually, palletized, or unitized as well as freight vehicles carried aboard commuter ferry boats; (4) add a requirement for the project sponsors to provide updates on project status; (5) expand the eligibility criteria for services and Routes that may participate in AMHP; (6) clarify criteria for Project Designation; and, (7) reorganize the regulations for ease of use.

For more information, please visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/11/2017-00249/revision-of-the-americas-marine-highway-program-regulations?utm_campaign=subscription%20mailing%20list&utm_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email

 

Friday, January 6, 2017: Army Corps of Engineers regarding Issuance and Reissuance of Nationwide Section 404 Permits

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is reissuing 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions, with some modifications. The Corps is also issuing two new NWPs and one new general condition. The effective date for the new and reissued NWPs is March 19, 2017. These NWPs will expire on March 18, 2022. The NWPs will protect the aquatic environment and the public interest while effectively authorizing activities that have no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects.

The NWPs authorize a variety of activities, such as aids to navigation, utility line crossings, erosion control activities, road crossings, stream and wetland restoration activities, residential developments, mining activities, commercial shellfish aquaculture activities, and agricultural activities. The two new NWPs authorize the removal of low-head dams and the construction and maintenance of living shorelines.

There is a ‘Grandfather Provision’ for expiring permits.

For more information, please visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/06/2016-31355/issuance-and-reissuance-of-nationwide-permits?utm_campaign=subscription%20mailing%20list&utm_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Olson at 202–761–4922 or access the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Home Page at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits.aspx.

 

From our friends at National Waterways Conference:

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard 

As previously advised, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a draft engineering circular (EC) to implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).  Additional information is available here:  http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Flood-Risk-Management/Flood-Risk-Management-Program/About-the-Program/Policy-and-Guidance/Federal-Flood-Risk-Management-Standard/

Comments are due on January 30, 2017.

NWC will host a webinar with the Corps on January 17, 2017, from 12:00 to 1:30 EST. The Corps will provide an overview of the draft EC, after which there will be an opportunity for comments and questions.

REQUEST:  if you are interested in participating in the call, please let NWC know. In addition, if you would like to participate in the working group to develop written comments in response to the draft EC, please let them know.

USACE Water Supply Rule

As previously advised, the Corps has published a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reservoir Projects for Domestic, Municipal & Industrial Water Supply.” The proposed rule is attached and available here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/16/2016-30017/use-of-us-army-corps-of-engineers-reservoir-projects-for-domestic-municipal-and-industrial-water  Comments are due on February 14, 2017, although it is possible that could be extended.

NWC will host a conference call discussion with the Corps on January 31, 2017, from 2:00 to 3:30 EST. While the Corps will not provide an overview of the rule, this is an opportunity to discuss concerns and ask questions about the proposed rule.

REQUEST:  if you are interested in participating in the call, please let NWC know. In addition, if you would like to participate in the working group to develop written comments in response to the rule, please let them know. They will schedule a call during the week of January 23rd to develop a list of key issues to discuss during the call.

For more information on the webinars, please contact National Waterways Conference at 703-224-8007.


Introduction to IRPT and its Members: Rediscover the strength of America’s Inland Rivers

January 6th:

Who is IRPT?

Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals (IRPT) is a nationwide trade association for users of the U.S. Inland Waterway system. IRPT promotes the use of our nation’s rivers as the most cost effective, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation. With that, we also know how vital of a roll the rail and trucking industry play as well.Our Members include:

5R Enterprises
AGRIServices of Brunswick
Alter Logistics Company
American Commercial Barge Lines
American State Equipment
America’s Central Port
Amerisafe
Arkansas Waterways Commission
Associated Terminals
Astec Bulk Handling Solutions
Bowers and Company CPA’s
Bruce Oakley, Inc.
Bryan Cave, LLP
Budrovich Marine
Bulk Storage, Inc.
Burkhart Enterprises
Burlington River Terminal
Bussen Terminal
Caddo Bossier Parishes Port Commission
Captial Sand Company
Carline Management Company
Carlisle & Bray Marine
Central Ohio River Business Association
Ceres Consulting, LLC
Chicago Port Railroad
Chippewa Lakes, LLC
Cincinnati Barge & Rail Terminal
Cincinnati Bulk Terminals, LLC
City of West Memphis, AR
Claiborne County Port, MS
Company Wrench
Consolidated Terminals & Logistics
CTEC AG
Design Nine, Inc.
DNJ Intermodal Services
E-Crane International USA
Environmental Restoration, LLC
Evansville Marine Services, Inc.
F & M Mafco, Inc.
Fletcher & Sippel, LLC
Fuchs – Terex North America
Fullen Dock & Warehouse, Inc.
Gateway Dredging
George Andres, Past President
Global Tech Power
Greenfield Products
Growmark
Hancock County Development Corporation
Hanson Professional Services, Inc.
Hawks Logistics
HDR, Inc.
Heavy Machines, Inc.
Helena Bridge Terminal
Helena Harbor
Helena Marine Service
Henderson County Riverport Authority
Hermann Sand & Gravel, Inc.
Hickman Fulton County Riverport Authority
Howard/Cooper County Regional Port Authority
Howell Tractor and Equipment
Hugh Wood, Inc.
IEI Barge Services
Illinois International Port District
Illinois River Carriers’ Association
IMG Rebel
Impala Terminals Burnside, LLC
Jacobs Engineering
James Marine, Inc.
Kaskaskia Regional Port District
Kaw Valley
Krech Ojard and Associates
L.B. Foster Company
LA International Deep Water Gulf Transport Terminal
Lake Providence Port Commission
Lange-Stegmann Company
Liebherr Construction Equipment Company
Little Rock Port Authority
Madison Parish Port Commission
Manley Brothers
MANTSINEN Material Handlers – Ohio Cat
Marine Material Handling Corporation
Marine Solutions
Massman Construction Company
McKees Rocks Industrial Enterprises, Inc.
Meredosia Terminal, Inc.
Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport
Mississippi State University
Missouri Department of Transportation
Missouri Port Authority Association
Moffatt & Nichol
Morgan City Harbor & Terminal District
Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett
Mt. Vernon Barge Services
Natchez Adams County Port Commission
Natchitoches Parish Port Commission
National Waterways Conference, Inc.
Natural Wood Solutions
New Madrid County Port Authority
Newt Marine Service
Midwest Foundations
North American Stevedoring Company
Nucor-Yamato Steel Company
Oakley’s Port 33
Oklahoma Department of Transportation
OmniTrax
Osborn Barr
Osprey Line, LLC
Owensboro Riverport Authority
Ozinga Materials
Paducah McCracken County Riverport Authority
Parker Towing Company, Inc.
Pemiscot County Port Authority
Peoria Barge Terminal
Perry County Port Authority, IN
Pivotal LNG
Plaquemines Port, Harbor & Terminal District
PND Engineers
Port KC
Port Harbor Railroad
Port of Brownsville/Brownsville Navigation District
Port of Greenville
Port of Memphis
Port of Milwaukee
Port of New Orleans
Port of Pittsburgh Commission
Port of South Louisiana
Port of Victoria, TX
Ports of Indiana
Price Inland Terminal
Process Equipment, Inc.
Professional Marine Services
Red River Waterway Commission
Reliable Asphalt
River Consulting
River Trading Company LTD
RiverWorks Discovery
RoadBuilders Machinery
Road Rage Fuel Booster
Rosedale-Bolivar County Port Commission
Saint Paul Port Authority
SCF Marine
Schuyler Maritime
SENNEBOGEN, LLC
Smith LaSalle, Inc.
Southern Marine Construction Company
St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District
St. Louis County Economic Development Partnership
St. Louis Development Corporation
Superior Marine Ways, Inc.
Taylor Machine Works
TCF Equipment Finance
Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Terral River Service
Thouvenot Wade & Moerchen, Inc.
Three Rivers Marine & Rail Terminals
Traylor Bros., Inc.
Trinity Lightweight ESC
Tuloma Stevedoring, Inc.
Tulsa Port of Catoosa
United Bulk Terminals
VAA, LLC
Valley, Inc. Port Authority, WV
W.R. Coles & Associates
Warren County Port Commission
Watco Terminal & Port Services
Waterways Journal
West Virginia Public Port Authority
Wintech International
Worthington Products
Yellow Bend Port, AR

 

Are you missing from the list?

Please find a membership application here.

You can also stay up-to-date with Member activities on our facebook page.

The mission of IRPT is to be a resource for inland river ports, terminals and river-borne transportation services and to promote the value of the inland river transportation system to users and policy makers. We also understand and appreciate the value of an all-inclusive transportation package that includes truck and rail. To accomplish this, we:

 

  1. Promote regional collaboration to increase business opportunities and strategize on challenges
  2. Market the inland waterways and all industries and companies that serve it
  3. Encourage cooperation between all users and governmental agencies
  4. Educate the general public and future workforce of industry efforts.

 

Our Basins include:

  • Pacific Rivers
  • ​Missouri River
  • Illinois River
  • Upper Mississippi River
  • Lower Mississippi River
  • Arkansas-White-Red-Ouachita Rivers
  • Southeast Rivers
  • Ohio River
  • Gulf and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

IRPT has done some very exciting things this year to continue our mission of being a resource for the inland river ports and promoting the healthy growth and operation of our industry. Some of our current initiatives include:

  • Tonnage Reporting Campaign
  • Container on Vessel Initiative
  • Panama Canal promotion
  • Inland Port Education
  • Strategic Planning Committee
  • River Basin Meetings
    • Missouri River: upcoming February 7 in Kansas City, Missouri
    • Ohio River Container on Barge: held September 12, 2016
    • Illinois River: upcoming January 10 in East Peoria, Illinois
    • Arkansas River: held September 15th, 2016
  • Regulatory Affairs Committee
  • Shortline Rail Committee
  • Annual IRPT Conference

For more information on any of the above, please check out theMessages from the Director or contact us directly.

The benefits to our members starts immediately. All new members are highlighted in our quarterly newsletter (a $500 value). The membership rates are:

$750 Private or Public Ports and Terminals
$600 Corporations (Servicers, vendors, firms, consultants, etc.)
$500 Associations (Development organizations, trade associations, etc.)

Members benefit in many ways including (but certainly not limited too):

  • Complete Access to Membership List (through directory)
  • Annual IRPT Conference
  • Quarterly Newsletter (check out December here)
  • Advertising Opportunities
  • Industry News
  • Social Opportunities

We host several events each year giving our members the opportunity to gain center stage with others in our industry, including river basin meetings, social receptions, etc.

We appreciate your consideration in joining our association to help support the great work we do.​


Big News: IRPT’s Upcoming Conference; Call for Sponsors and Exhibitors

January 3rd:

Greetings Sponsors and Exhibitors:

Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) is excited to present its 2017 Call for Sponsors and Exhibitors! We invite you to join us for the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT) Annual Conference at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri from April 25th thru April 27th (with golf and exhibitor move in on Monday, April 24th), 2017.

This year’s conference will include:

  • Nearly 10 hours of conference content with professional development hours offered. Content to include:
    • Army Corps/Coast Guard Update
    • Innovative Technology
    • Export Controls
    • Commodities Discussion
      • ​Energy
      • Agriculture
    • Carrier’s Perspective
    • Manufacturer’s Day (see below)

For the first time ever, Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals is offering complimentary registration to manufacturers/owners of cargo/shippers/freight forwarders.

IRPT is inviting the above on Thursday, April 27th to IRPT’s National Annual Conference held in Kansas City, Missouri to explore how America’s Rivers Welcome Their Transport. We understand they have many shipping options to consider using and we are inviting them to explore incorporating the inland rivers into their supply chain.

Inland Marine Highways move commerce to/from 38 states throughout our nation’s heartland, serve as transport ramps to industrial and agricultural centers and facilitate imports/exports at gateway ports to the Coasts. Delivering your product door-to-door while incorporating inland marine highways is achievable and we invite you to Kansas City to learn how.

On Thursday, April 27th, we will offer:

  • America’s Short Sea Routes and Funding Opportunities
  • Connecting short sea routes to international shipping routes
  • Shippers testimony on how incorporating river transportation into their supply chain affects their business
  • Container on Barge
  • Clearing Misconceptions
    • Total all-inclusive door-to-door service including river transport
    • Transit times

As the nation is reaching capacity on rail systems and congestion on surface transportation is increasing transit times, many of the nation’s shippers will be looking for alternate routes for their supply chain. There is available Capacity Available on the Rivers. Our nation’s rivers deliver vital goods between major gateway ports, establish new trade networks with significant public benefits and create a foundation for future trade growth.

Sponsorships are available and MUCH appreciated.

The week’s itinerary includes:

Monday: Exhibitor Set-up
Annual Golf Outing
Reception and viewing of RWD Traveling Exhibit

Tuesday: Exhibition Hall Opens
Who Works the River Career Fair
Commissioner’s Tract
Conference Content
Welcome Reception

Wednesday: Exhibition Hall
Conference Content
After hours event

Thursday: Exhibition Hall
Conference Content
If you are interested in securing your exhibit space or would like to participate as a sponsor in our 2017 Annual Conference, I encourage you to contact Aimee Andres at 618-468-3010 to reserve your exhibit space and discuss sponsorship opportunities which WILL maximize your company’s exposure at the event. Don’t wait, register now – exhibitor spaces are available to MEMBERS ONLY for the month of December. Any remaining spaces will be available to non-members starting January 1st.

This year’s conference offers many popular sponsorship levels and benefits. All sponsors for the 2017 IRPT Conference will be acknowledged on IRPT’s website as well as included in all e-blasts and publications.

Please access the Sponsor and Exhibitor application here.

I look forward to seeing all of you at our exciting conference at the Kansas City Convention Center where we trust your company will reap great rewards and find your association with IRPT a profitable and beneficial experience.

Thanks to our 2017 Conference Sponsors who have already signed up:

Diamond:
Port KC
AGRIServices of Brunswick

Gold:
SENNEBOGEN

 


 

 

CMA CGM Announces New Direct Service From Port of New Orleans

December 22nd:

IRPT Members:Check out the below press release. This is not only great news for IRPT Member, Port of New Orleans but also great news for container on barge!Aimee Andres
Executive Director


December 22, 2016

New Orleans— Marseilles, France-based CMA CGM today announced a new direct weekly container service to Asia from the Port of New Orleans Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. Part of the company’s PEX3 service, the inaugural vessel is scheduled to arrive on January 31 for service by terminal operator Ports America.

“CMA CGM is proud to be expanding our presence in New Orleans, further showing our commitment to the Gulf region, and Louisiana specifically.  We look forward to continued growth in the region, and are pleased to be contributing to the evolution and development of this vital hub. In the U.S., the Group now offers a global coverage with 23 services in and out of North America to over 150 countries around the world” states Marc Bourdon, CMA CGM America LLC President.

The faster transit times provided by the new direct service enhances the Port of New Orleans’ reach for shippers and competitive advantage overall. It also helps both the region and state of Louisiana by serving as a catalyst to attract new business.

“Louisiana is an international gateway for goods bound to and from America’s industrial heartland, and having this new direct service for shippers to vital Asian markets will create greater value for our economy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “As we see billions of dollars of new industrial investments being made in Louisiana, strategic shipping services by CMA CGM and others will enhance existing import-export operations while making our state even more desirable for foreign direct investment projects.”

CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container carrier, has called at the Port of New Orleans since 2009 and currently operates two weekly services, the Med-Americas Service to the Caribbean and South and Central American ports from New Orleans and the Victory Bridge Service to Northern European ports.

“CMA CGM’s new direct Asia container service will enhance the competitiveness of the Port of New Orleans and Louisiana by providing faster transit times and expanding the port’s reach for shippers,” said incoming Port President and CEO Brandy Christian. “Initiating this service from New Orleans accomplishes a strategic goal for the port and will serve as a catalyst to attract new business to the region. We look forward to working with CMA CGM to ensure the service’s success.”

The new service offers a 26-day transit time from Asia to New Orleans, which positions the Port to grow the recently opened Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal’s service to key markets such as Memphis, TN; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN and Toronto, which are all serviced daily by CN Railroad. The direct service also adds capacity and reliability for exporters and is strategically timed to serve the surge in resin exports in 2017.

The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world’s busiest port system — Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Connected to major inland markets and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system, the Port is the ideal gateway for steel, project cargo, containers, coffee, natural rubber, chemicals, forest products, manufactured goods and cruising.  An extensive network of ocean carrier services, along with added-value services like transloading of bulk into containers, make the Port of New Orleans the superior logistics solution for many types of cargo. To stay ahead of market demand, the Port has invested more than $100 million in capital-improvement projects since 2012 and has a Master Plan to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs. www.portno.com

About CMA CGM

CMA CGM, founded and led by Jacques R. Saadé, is a leading worldwide shipping group.

Its 536 vessels call more than 420 ports in the world, on all 5 continents. In 2015, they carried 18 million* TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). CMA CGM has grown continuously, and has been constantly innovating to offer its clients new sea, land and logistics solutions. With a presence in 160 countries, through its 600 agencies network, the Group employs 29,000 people worldwide, including 2,400 in its headquarter in Marseilles.

*Combined proforma CMA CGM and NOL

Press contact: media@cma-cgm.com


Mississippi River Commission: High Water Inspection Tours

December 16th:

The Mississippi River Commission has released the dates for the upcoming High-Water Inspection Trips. Please take this opportunity to speak with the Commission.

The Commission will host the series of public meetings beginning at 9:00 am in the following cities and dates:

  • Hickman, Kentucky on April 3
  • Memphis, Tennessee on April 4
  • Greenville, Mississippi on April 5
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana on April 7

Please save the dates. Per Charles Camillo, Executive Director of the Mississippi River Commission, “The Mississippi River Commission appreciates your active participation in our public engagement process as it is a key driver in making improvements to our water resources”.

To view the Notice in its entirety, please click here.


 

Press Release – IRPT signs MOU with Panama Canal Authority

December 13th:

Panama City, Panama: Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals (IRPT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). This historic event marks the first ever global connection for IRPT. This Memorandum of Understanding is important to all of our inland river ports, terminals, and river-borne transportation services and will recognize the importance of promoting waterway shipping.

IRPT promotes foreign and domestic commerce using international trade routes, such as the Panama Canal. America’s inland ports are major sources of export and import generation for the economy and serve as feeder ports to coastal ports around the nation. Our Members contribute to the nations GDP and secure the nation’s global competitiveness.

The memorandum will allow IRPT and ACP to engage in joint marketing efforts, generate new shipping business and share data that may be helpful in forecasting future trade flows. Together, IRPT and ACP can create awareness of the benefits derived from the Canal expansion and optimize the existing inland transportation used to move commodities to and from the United States through the Canal.


IRPT to Sign Agreement with Panama Canal Authority

December 12th:

On December 13th, 2016, Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals (IRPT) will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in Panama. This Memorandum of Understanding is important to all of our inland river ports, terminals, and river-borne transportation services and will recognize the importance of promoting waterway shipping.

IRPT promotes foreign and domestic commerce, economic development and job creation throughout the inland waterway system and has been working to bring container on barge (COB) shipping to the Mississippi River and its tributaries. As this project moves forward, the parties will promote the use of the Panama Canal for vessels calling on U.S. Gulf ports.

Using the river for commercial navigation, “Our rivers secure the nation’s global competitiveness, provides public benefits to communities and citizens by providing healthier, cleaner air and is less costly to America’s taxpayers as infrastructure improvements on surface transportation is reduced by using the River for transporting America’s freight” says Aimee Andres, Executive Director.

The Panama Canal Authority is the organization in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal, one of the main links of world commerce. The ACP has recently completed a multi-billion-dollar expansion project that will double the waterway’s capacity and will allow for the transit of larger and wider vessels. The expansion will result in economies of scale in shipping and an improved transportation system through Panama.

IRPT’s members are located on the United States inland river system and are a major source of export and import generation for the economy. Members depend heavily on foreign trade routes such as the Panama Canal. Both IRPT and ACP are constantly undertaking a series of activities aimed at fostering the growth of global commerce and desire to cooperate in creating awareness of the benefits derived from the Canal expansion and from the optimization of existing inland transportation that is used to move various commodities from and to the United States through the Panama Canal.

IRPT wants to recognize Growmark for their generosity of special sponsorship during the HISTORIC IRPT trip to the Panama Canal!

Thank you to Tony Kennett with GROWMARK for providing the sponsorship for bus transportation during the Panama trip. GROWMARK is a regional cooperative providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services in more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives to serve more than 250,000 customers. At GROWMARK, their mission is to improve the long-term profitability of their member-owners. They strive to be the best agricultural cooperative system in North America, which is made possible through the  dedication of  skilled and respected employees.


Fines for not Reporting Tonnages

December 11th:

If you have not seen it yet, the 2015 Transportation Facts and Information Card is available. Please access the .pdf document here.

In November, we met with Tom Podany, Director of the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center, at his office in New Orleans. We discussed multiple topics including:

  • How to get more inland ports recognized by IWR: I have been in contact with many of you to have your particular location recognized.
  • How to bring more attention to reporting tonnages: Tom had the wonderful suggestion of including a monthly reminder when you send out your invoices. To see an example of the reminder card they use, please click here.

For your convenience, I have prepared a monthly reminder for you to use. You can simply download that ,pdf here.

September 11, 2016:

Good morning again,

Since the August 30th email, I have received a lot of questions about the fines and again, “Who should be Reporting”. I sent Tom Podany (Director of the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) and email asking about different situations.

Again, the major question all around is ‘Who should be reporting’. Is it the terminal operator, barge line or cargo owner? All have an interest in keeping rivers open for commercial transportation but the definition of “owners, agents, master and clerks” seem to be the detriment of the understanding.

For example;

Owners of Cargo – In the case of agriculture co-ops; there are multiple “owners” of the cargo. Who is doing the reporting. When we explore the container on barge and use the ENG 3825C form, I just can’t see Walmart filing these reports or even having the knowledge of what’s needed. In that case, we would depend on the terminal operator – but as you will find below, that’s not mandatory.

Terminal operators - Terminal operators have the option to voluntary submit tonnage numbers using ENG3926; but this is not required. Most of them are not interested in the additional work if it isn’t mandatory. There is a mixture of private terminals and self-operated public docks who load cargo for river transport. In the majority of the cases, the cargo that the terminal is handling is not owned by them.

Mr. Podany’s response was, “The simple answer is that the owner of the vessel is ultimately responsible for reporting cargo movements. They can, and usually do, delegate reporting to the operator of the vessel. This is what we discussed at the IRPT meeting in May; though I did hear from at least one person that “owners don’t delegate reporting requirements to operators.” If you do not own or operate vessels you are not required to report and cannot be fined.

The Code of Federal regulations (33 CFR Part 207 based on 33 U.S.C 555) has a few examples of situations to show who would report in the following examples: 1.) Lease/Charter arrangement, 2.) Interline Movement, 3.)Vessel Swap/Trade, 4.)Re-Consignment, and 5.) Fleeting. The bottom line is that the person or entity receiving remuneration for the movement of vessels or for the transportation of goods or passengers on the navigable waters is responsible for assuring that the report is timely filed.

Port and dock operators can voluntarily give us dock receipts which will help us track down cargo shipments to their dock that did not get reported.

For vessels under lease/charter agreements, the lessee or charterer of any commercial vessel engaged in commercial transportation will be responsible for the filing of the reports until the lease/charter expires.

The vessel owner, or his designated agent, is always the responsible party for ensuring that all commercial activity of the vessel is timely reported.

August 30, 2016:

Did you know there is a $5,000 fine for not reporting your tonnage to the Institute for Water Resources?

Please find a letter I received detailing the fines here.

It states, “that owners, agents, master, and clerks of vessels and other craft plying upon the navigable waters of the United States, and all individuals and corporations engaged in transporting their own goods upon the navigable waters of the United States shall furnish such statements relative to vessels, passengers, freight, and tonnage as may be required by the Secretary of the Army…”

It further reads, “All information and data sent… is required to be held in confidence and will not be released outside of the federal government in order to maintain the confidentiality of proprietary information” Failure to provide statements required are subject to the following penalties:

  • For each and every offense, a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding two months.
  • A civil penalty of up to $2,500 per violation.
  • Denial of passage through locks and canals.

If you are unsure if you should be reporting, I would like to share with you the below information IRPT published in February of 2015. I encourage you to take a look at the ENG forms as well.

IRPT Members can log on to their account to view the tonnage reporting webinar using the drop-down box.

If you are still unsure whether you should be reporting, you can contact me directly or of course, contact the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center at (504) 862-1414


WRDA 2016: Please Act Now

December 6th:

Dear IRPT Members,Please see the below news alert from our friends at National Waterways Conference.

 nwc-logo

NWC Action Alert – Possible WRDA This Week – Action Requested

December 6, 2016

WRDA Developments in the House and Senate.  Your Support is Needed

ACTION ALERT

Tomorrow afternoon, the House Rules Committee will take up the comprehensive “Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act,” now as S. 612.  The Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA 16) is included in that bill.  The House is expected to take up the bill on Thursday, with consideration expected in the Senate on Friday.

URGENT REQUEST:  Please contact your delegations and urge support of this bill AND send a letter to both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee urging passage.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, called an urgent conference call with stakeholders to express concern about what she called “a poison pill” provision in the House bill related to California drought issues.  Senator Boxer expressed the view that provisions added by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) would roll back protections of the Endangered Species Act and that such provisions would be the “death knell” for WRDA this year, asserting that they would cause the bill to be filibustered in the Senate.

Please Act Now. You can find a copy of the National Waterways Conference letter here. We are asking for you to please draft a letter and send to:

House T&I contact:  Victor Sarmiento victor.sarmiento@mail.house.gov

Senate EPW contact:  Alex Herrgott alex_herrgott@epw.senate.gov

 

WRDA HIGHLIGHTS can be found here.


Did you miss the 2016 WorkBoat Show? 

December 5th:

Did you miss the 2016 WorkBoat Show? If so, you missed the opportunity to meet the IRPT Members exhibiting. Fortunately, you can still read about them and (just a few) of their hot products:

E-Crane International USA: E-Crane International USA provides engineering, sales management and technical product support for the E-Crane fleet. The “E” stands for Equilibrium. The revolutionary hydraulic bulk material handler uses the balance principal and is perfectly suited for loading and unload ships and inland river barges while consuming up to 50% less energy.

Contact Mark to request a visit to see an E-Crane in operations near you!

Contact IRPT Member: Mark Osborne
mark.osborne@e-crane.com
(419) 468-0090

F & M MAFCO, Inc.: F & M MAFCO is a family owned company with a wide range of products and services, including:

  • Sales, Rental and Parts for cranes, derricks, hoists, tuggers, barge deck equipment, hydraulic pumps, torque wrenches, rigging blocks, welders, compressors, jobsite support trailers, etc.;
  • Field and Shop Service for Heavy Equipment and Welding Repairs. Machine shop and fabrication services including bore welding also available;
  • Certified Welders that offer turnkey service for structural fabrications;
  • Replacement Operator Stations with upgraded state of the art controls for Heavy Equipment;
  • Specialty below-the-hook lifting devices and rigging that are not available off the shelf or pre-engineered.

Contact IRPT Member: Larry Kelhoffer
lkelhoffer@fmmafco.com
(513) 367-8270

Pivotal LNG: Pivotal LNG and Southern Company Gas operates a network of LNG production facilities with the capacity to produce 554,000 gallons of LNG per day. With more than 40 years of experience in the production and delivery of LNG, Pivotal LNG provides a complete, turn-key solution tailored to help achieve your business goals.

Contact IRPT Member: Eric Kuenzli
ckuenzli@pivotallng.com
(423) 490-4296

Schuyler Maritime: Schuyler has been designing and manufacturing custom built fendering systems for tugs, barges, push boats and land based applications such as piers, docks and pilings since 1950. Schuyler fenders are designed and crafted to be extremely durable and geared towards the tough barge berthing environment.

Contact IRPT Member: Dale Langley
dlangley@schuylermaritime.com
(337) 321-4275

Wintech International, LLC: Wintech is an industry leader in the supply of barge positioning systems for loading and unloading terminals. With servicing over 250 systems for terminals throughout the inland waterway system.

Contact IRPT Member: James Osborne
jamesoz@wintech-winches.com
(318) 218-4047


IRPT’s Winter 2016 Newsletter is Here!

December 5th:

The Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals 2016 Winter Newsletter is available!Please click here to access the newsletter.There is so much to share with you in this issue including:

  • President’s Message from Anthony Hauer, Natchez Adams County Port Commission
  • New Members since September:
    • Reliable Asphalt Corporation
    • Growmark
    • OmniTrax
    • Budrovich Marine
    • Kaw Valley
    • HDR
    • Design Nine
    • Peoria Barge Terminal
    • DNJ
    • North America Stevedoring Company
    • F & M Mafco
    • Howell Tractor & Equipment
  • Our Members making headlines:
    • Alter Logistics; St. Paul, MN
    • Henderson County Riverport; Henderson, KY
    • Hickman Riverport: Hickman, KY
    • Port of Gulfport; Gulfport, MS
    • Consolidated Grain & Barge
    • Fowler Rodriguez Law Firm; Gulfport, MS
    • Bowers & Company CPA’s; Syracuse, NY
    • Little Rock Port Authority; Little Rock, AR
    • Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Bracket Law Firm; New Orleans, LA
  • IRPT News includes:
    • Salt Storage Battle Continues
    • Legislative Climate
    • Upcoming Basin meetings

IRPT is excited to present its 2017 Call for Sponsors and Exhibitors

December 1st:

Greetings Sponsors and Exhibitors:

Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) is excited to present its 2017 Call for Sponsors and Exhibitors! We invite you to join us for the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT) Annual Conference at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri from April 25th thru April 27th (with golf and exhibitor move in on Monday, April 24th), 2017.

This year’s conference will include:

  • Nearly 10 hours of conference content with professional development hours offered. Content to include:
    • Commodities forecast
    • Innovative Technology
    • Education Opportunities
    • Army Corps/Coast Guard Update
    • New Business Development
    • Much, much more!
  • Exhibition space offering high quality one-on-one interaction with attendees. Our design and layout offers the personal experience to increase communication and visibility. Exhibition time exceeds 18 hours and will ensure you company’s exposure.
  • Sponsorships are available and MUCH appreciated.

The week’s itinerary includes:

Monday: Exhibitor Set-up
Annual Golf Outing
Reception and viewing of RWD Traveling Exhibit

Tuesday: Exhibition Hall Opens
Who Works the River Career Fair
Commissioner’s Tract
Conference Content
Welcome Reception

Wednesday: Exhibition Hall
Conference Content
After hours event

Thursday: Exhibition Hall
Conference Content
If you are interested in securing your exhibit space or would like to participate as a sponsor in our 2017 Annual Conference, I encourage you to contact Aimee Andres at 618-468-3010 to reserve your exhibit space and discuss sponsorship opportunities which WILL maximize your company’s exposure at the event. Don’t wait, register now – exhibitor spaces are available to MEMBERS ONLY for the month of December. Any remaining spaces will be available to non-members starting January 1st.

This year’s conference offers many popular sponsorship levels and benefits. All sponsors for the 2017 IRPT Conference will be acknowledged on IRPT’s website as well as included in all e-blasts and publications.

Please access the Sponsor and Exhibitor application here.

I look forward to seeing all of you at our exciting conference at the Kansas City Convention Center where we trust your company will reap great rewards and find your association with IRPT a profitable and beneficial experience.

November 22nd:

Will you be attending the International WorkBoat Show next week in New Orleans? If so, please stop by the IRPT Member booths:

E-Crane International USA: Cargo Handling, Conveyors, Cranes & Parts, Dredging, Deck Machinery / Hardware / Equipment, Services

F & M Mafco, Inc.: Abrasives, Cranes & Parts, Distributors, Pneumatics, Services & Supplies, Structural Fab Equipment, Tools, Welding, Winches & Windlasses, Wire Ropes, Boat Building / Repair, Boat Building Supplies, Catalog / Retail, Coatings, Deck Machinery / Hardware / Equipment, Services

Pivotal LNG: Fuel, Fuel / Lubricants

Schuyler Maritime: Boat Building and Repairs, Boat Building Materials, Buoys / Floats / Fenders, Construction, Consulting, Deck Machinery / Hardware / Equipment, Shipyard, Boat Building / Repair, Boat Building Supplies, Deck Machinery / Hardware / Equipment, Services

Waterways Journal, Inc.: Media/Tradeshow, Publications, Media / Magazines, Books, Services

Wintech International, LLC: Capstans, Deck Machinery & Hardware, Deck Machinery / Hardware / Equipment, Winches & Windlasses, Deck Machinery / Hardware / Equipment

For more information on the show, please visit: http://www.workboatshow.com/.


ANNOUNCING A NEW DATE FOR THE RESCHEDULED Marine Highway Project webinar

 November 17th:

ANNOUNCING A NEW DATE FOR THE RESCHEDULED Marine Highway Project webinarNovember 17th:Maritime Administration will hold a Marine Highway Project webinar November 30, 2016 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern time / 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central time.To join the webinar by conference call, dial: (877) 336-1839, enter access code 5697386.To join the webinar using your computer, please visit https://www.teleconference.att.com/servlet/AWMlogin and enter meeting number 8773361839.Members:Maritime Administration will hold a Marine Highway Project webinar today from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern time / 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central time.The purpose of the webinar is to provide guidance and information for future submissions of Marine Highway Project applications for designation. The agenda includes:

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Short Marine Highways video
  • Purpose of Project Designations
  • Key Application Components
  • Project Designation Process
  • Project Designation Benefits

To join the webinar by conference call, dial: (877) 336-1839, enter access code 5697386.

To join the webinar using your computer, please visit https://www.teleconference.att.com/servlet/AWMlogin and enter meeting number 8773361839.


Marine Highway Project Webinar

November 14th:

Maritime Administration will hold a Marine Highway Project webinar today from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern time / 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central time.

The purpose of the webinar is to provide guidance and information for future submissions of Marine Highway Project applications for designation. The agenda includes:

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Short Marine Highways video
  • Purpose of Project Designations
  • Key Application Components
  • Project Designation Process
  • Project Designation Benefits

To join the webinar by conference call, dial: (877) 336-1839, enter access code 5697386.

To join the webinar using your computer, please visit https://www.teleconference.att.com/servlet/AWMlogin and enter meeting number 8773361839.


IRPT would like to officially announce and congratulate the first class of the Inland Port Executives

 November 4th:

Inland rivers, Ports & Terminals would like to officially announce and congratulate the first class of the Inland Port Executives.

Graduates of the first Inland Port Executive class are:

Ed Weilbacher, Kaskaskia Regional Port District, IL
Branden Criman, Maritime Administration
Mandi Brink, Southeast Missouri Port Authority, MO
Dennis Wilmsmeyer, America’s Central Port, IL
Susan Taylor, St. Louis Port Authority, MO
Ben McCall, America’s Central Port, IL
Paul Zimmerman, Port of New Orleans, LA
Rich Diffley, Lange-Stegmann Company, MO
Susan Livorsi, Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals
Randy Carmichael, Upper Mississippi Fleeting, IA
Fred Taylor, Oakley’s Port 33, OK
Cary Harbison, Southeast Missouri Port Authority, MO
Pete Colangelo, Ozinga Materials, IL
Lee DeLorge, Green Plains, Inc., NE
Aimee Andres, Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals

In keeping with the standards set forth by the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives and having met the requirements of the Inland Port and Waterways Management Program, we officially congratulate the above recipients for their hard work, dedication and stewardship to the inland marine industry.

A very special thank you to our generous sponsors for their hospitality:

Lange-Stegmann Company
HDR, Inc
America’s Central Port

A very special thank you to Captain Jeff Monroe, Director of Education for the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives for hearing the call and answering the needs for education of the inland maritime industry.


Container on Barge Update: October 26, 2016

October 26, 2016

By now, many of you have attended the recent IRPT Basin Meetings. Of particular interest during those meetings was the discussion surrounding container on barge (COB). If you missed the basin meetings, a brief recap is below.

There are different types of moves we are currently seeing throughout the inland river system:

1. Domestic moves: The domestic moves that include both origination and destination points on the U.S. river system are the most popular and depending on the origination and destination points, appear to be cost comparative, if not cheaper than trucking from point to point. Examples of domestic moves include:

James River Barge Service operates a service three times weekly from Hampton Rhodes to Richmond. Please check out the 64 Express FAQ page:http://customerservice.portofvirginia.com/link/portal/57066/57076/Article/163/64-Express-Barge-FAQ

2. Shuttle moves

The Memphis/Baton Rouge/ New Orleans shuttle service operated by Seacor AMH operates a weekly service moving loaded containers to Memphis and exporting empty containers from Memphis to Baton Rouge.

The Illinois Shuttle Project is a service for agriculture product between Channahon and Granite City, IL. Sponsored by America’s Central Port in coordination with the Illinois Soybean Association, the service will operate on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.

Maritime Administration Awards $4.85 Million in Grants for Marine Highway Projects

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced $4.85 million in grants to six Marine Highway projects along the waterways of 17 states and the District of Columbia.  The goal of the Maritime Administration’s Marine Highway Program is to expand the use of our Nation’s navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion, reduce air emissions, and generate other public benefits by increasing the efficiency of the surface transportation system.

View the full press release here.

On a national level, IRPT is involved in many initiatives to promote using container on barge. Those efforts include:

  • Memorandum of Understanding with the Panama Canal Authority: Many of you know, IRPT will be signing an MOU with the Authority in Panama on December 13th. We have invited our Members to attend the historic event. IRPT’s members are located on the United States inland river system and are a major source of export and import generation for the economy. Members depend heavily on foreign trade routes such as the Panama Canal. Both IRPT and ACP are constantly undertaking a series of activities aimed at fostering the growth of global commerce and desire to cooperate in creating awareness of the benefits derived from the Canal expansion and from the optimization of existing inland transportation that is used to move various commodities from and to the United States through the Panama Canal.
  • Container on Barge (COB) Planning Project: IRPT partnered with the St. Louis Port Authority, Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative and the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association to apply for a grant through Maritime Administration for a Container on Barge (COB) Planning Project. Recently awarded, the purpose of the project is to create marketable solutions for ocean carriers to move containerized goods through Gulf of Mexico ports to and from the Mississippi River by evaluating and addressing real and perceived challenges and opportunities in comparison with east and west coast ports.
  • Roundtable discussions: IRPT has participated in many stakeholder meetings around the nation to collaborate on customer specific solutions. I want to share with you some insight to help each of you if you are considering container on barge for your area.
    • Advocacy efforts: Regional collaboration is essential. Your marketing efforts should include your State and Regional transportation planners, chambers of commerce, manufacturing associations, freight forwarders and council of supply chain professionals.
    • What the Shipper wants: The owner of the cargo (aka Shipper) will usually want to work with a single provider, rather than working separately with all the necessary servicing companies. Container on barge incorporates many providers and it’s important you are not creating more work or hidden cost for your customer. Identify your team lead as the one point of contact for the shipper.​Shippers are looking for alternatives to their current supply chain with comparable pricing. Offering container on barge provides an alternative mode of transportation, generating competition and lower costs on other modes. Have this conversation with your potential customer so they too are aware of additional benefits.
    • Form your teams early and keep in mind when considering a container on barge movement – two teams are needed including all service providers. One at origination and one at destination (and of course, rates vary per city). Have your team members involved in the discussion early so when a potential shipper approaches you for a quote comparison to their current model, you know who to call. Service providers that should be engaged early on should include:
      • Intermodal provider (if shipper is not located on the river)
      • Origination port
      • Origination terminal (if not operated by the origination port)
      • Barge line
      • Destination port
      • Destination terminal
      • Intermodal provider (if different than origination provider)

Other factors to consider:

  • Lean on IRPT for support. We are YOUR association and can provide assistance when needed. We can help in the formation of teams and have insight into additional resources available in your region.
  • Use your membership directory. When looking for team members – choose an IRPT Member when you can. Your directory is sorted by company name alphabetically and also by basin.​

This message was sent to Members only. If you know someone who could also benefit from an IRPT Membership, please send them a membership application. Click here to access one!​


Panama Canal Trip: Deadline

October 26th:

If you are an IRPT Member and would like to join us on our upcoming Panama Canal trip (on December 13th), the deadline to let us know is Monday, October 31st.

Susan is working with a travel agent to coordinate flights, hotels, etc. for our upcoming trip. The week’s itinerary includes signing and tour with the Panama Canal Authority and tour thru the canal with dinner.

Please let Susan or I know if you are interested in attending and we will send you additional information. Susan will facilitate discussions between you and the travel agent.. Each Member who is attending will book directly with the travel agent. You are more than welcomed to extend your trip outside of my itinerary listed above if you wish.​

Aimee Andres
618-468-3010
admin@irpt.net

Susan Livorsi
618-468-3011
slivorsi@irpt.net


Exciting News from Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT)!

October 11th:

I would like to share with you some of the biggest news yet from IRPT. On December 13th, 2016, Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals (IRPT) will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in Panama. This Memorandum of Understanding is important to all of our inland river ports, terminals, and river-borne transportation services and will recognize the importance of promoting waterway shipping.

To IRPT Members: IRPT and the ACP are excited to WELCOME YOU to Panama. Susan Livorsi (IRPT) is working with a local travel agent in St. Louis, MO, to help make the arrangements for this historic trip. At this point we are hoping to keep the final cost for this trip to under $1000.00 per person. If you are interested in attending, please let us know immediately.

IRPT is a non-profit entity whose mission is to be a resource for inland river ports, terminals, and river-borne transportation services and to promote the value of the inland river transportation system to users. IRPT promotes foreign and domestic commerce, economic development and job creation throughout the inland waterway system and has been working to bring container on barge (COB) shipping to the Mississippi River and its tributaries. As this project moves forward, the parties will promote the use of the Panama Canal for vessels calling on U.S. Gulf ports.

The Panama Canal Authority is the organization in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal, one of the main links of world commerce. The ACP has recently completed a multi-billion-dollar expansion project that will double the waterway’s capacity and will allow for the transit of larger and wider vessels. The expansion will result in economies of scale in shipping and an improved transportation system through Panama.

IRPT’s members are located on the United States inland river system and are a major source of export and import generation for the economy. Members depend heavily on foreign trade routes such as the Panama Canal. Both IRPT and ACP are constantly undertaking a series of activities aimed at fostering the growth of global commerce and desire to cooperate in creating awareness of the benefits derived from the Canal expansion and from the optimization of existing inland transportation that is used to move various commodities from and to the United States through the Panama Canal.

According to a SWOT analysis performed by Booz, Allen and Hamilton, strengths of the canal expansion include:

  • Bulk and break bulk freight markets – agriculture, coal, petroleum, chemicals – good base of export tonnage
  • Mississippi River connectivity to inland US and international locations – bulk goods movement

And opportunities include:

  • Near-term and long-term diversion opportunities oriented toward Latin America and Mexico with containerized cargo
  • Well positioned to focus on select industries/commodities with a niche differentiation strategy rather than focusing on a broad market scope strategy
  • Possible beneficiary of increased trade with Caribbean transshipment strategies and or rise of smaller/mid-sized ports based upon the anticipated congestion at larger ports

Researcher Anthony Ross at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lubar School of Business said “The assumption that only eastern states will have a cost advantage to using the canal may not be true. The dynamics of steam time, ship size and fuel surcharges can be important drivers extending the north-south running westward” along the Gulf Coast, including the ports of Houston and Gulfport, Mississippi. The Panama Canal should be thought of as a strategic bridge between Asia, the east coast of North America and to South America. JOC.com: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/trade-lanes/trans-pacific/panama-canal-expansion-delays-could-benefit-gulf-ports_20141003.html

To better understand the potential effects of the Panama Canal Expansion, I would like to draw your attention to a report published in 2015 by the Boston Consulting Group and C.H. Robinson titled, “Wide Open: How the Panama Can Expansion is Redrawing the Logistics Map” http://www.panamacanal.salini-impregilo.com/static/upload/bos/bostongrouponpanamajune2015.pdf

More specifically, the report suggests the East Coast Ports stand to gain 10% additional share of container traffic from East Asia to the U.S. On page 8, the report states, “this shift of up to 10% will fundamentally alter supply chains. Notably, the battleground on which U.S. ports compete with one another for customers will likely expand and move several hundred miles west, toward Chicago and Memphis.” In addition, the report states, “Growth rates for the larger ports on the West Coast will decrease, competition among East Coast ports will intensify, and rail and truck traffic patterns will shift.”

In addition:

On May 27th, 2016, IRPT submitted a MARAD Grant Application for a Container-On-Barge (COB) Planning Project. This was a partnership grant application. Partners included: The Mississippi Rivers Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI), Inland Rivers Ports & Terminals (IRPT), and the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA). This partnership joined the City of St. Louis, MO, Port Authority (the Authority) to form a team of applicants for MARAD’s “Funding Opportunity for America’s Marine Highway Projects.” This team will ask the ocean carriers how COB shipping can help them attract more business. The partnership will call upon the major steamship lines to determine what obstacles they have encountered to inland shipping, what new technology or government mandates will drive their decisions, how can COB swing the cost-benefit calculus to their advantage. After our introductory conversations, we will hold roundtable meetings in Washington, DC, New York City, and an M/35-M/55 port city.

The primary goal of the project is to determine what helps or hinders the movement of containerized goods along the Mississippi River by ocean carriers and major shippers.

I hope you all find this news to be as exciting as I do! If you wish to be a part of the historic signing in Panama, please let me know as soon as possible.