Tonnage Reporting:

 

January 28, 2015: Tonnage Reporting Webinar

IRPT hosted a tonnage reporting webinar on Wednesday, January 28th presented by the Navigation Data Center. IRPT is focused on the importance of accurate reporting for the benefit of all waterway users. If you were unavailable to attend the webinar, the presentation can be viewed HERE.

The tonnages are required to be reported by the shipper via vessel operation reports (VORs)There are 4 ENG Forms available for monthly reporting.

  • - ENG 3925:  Statement of Freight and Passengers Carried, submitted principally by operators of deep-draft vessels.
  • - ENG 3925B:  Optional Form for Use by inland and intracoastal operators in lieu of ENG Form 3925.
  • - ENG 3925C:  For reporting movements of CONTAINERIZED CARGO
  • - ENG 3925P:  Optional form for use by passenger vessel operators in lieu of ENG Form 3925 for reporting movements of passengers

In addition, terminal operators can voluntarily submit dock receipts via ENG 3926.

Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals will host a second webinar on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm central time. Please click HERE to register for the webinar.

Currently, there are 2 reporting methods being used. The LPMS (Lock Performance Monitoring System) and Vessel Operating Reports (VORs) required by law to be submitted to the Institute of Water Resources (IWR), a division of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The lock performance measurement system (LPMS) is collected at the Corps lock by the Lock Operator. The main purpose of this data is to track number of lockages by types of vessels. It is reportedly not accurate for determining commodity flow to include product type and volumes. For accuracy we reportedly should look to the IWR which, by law is reported by the owner or operator of the vessels (barges). Because this is the reporting system used to determine the metric used, it is important all users are reporting.

As previously discussed, using the lock performance measurement system (LPMS) is not an accurate metric system to determine the amount of cargo shipped on the waterways. The LPMS is an attractive tool because it is the most up-to-date information available, but it is the data from the IWR Statistics Center that is used in the annual U.S. Waterborne Freight reports. Cargo shipped in between the locks where measurements are being taken are not being captured.


 

August 1, 2014:  Tonnage Reporting Campaign Kicks Off

In an effort to keep users abreast of technical, operational, and economic issues affecting U.S. inland ports, terminals and river systems, Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT) would like to take this opportunity to educate the waterway users on the critical need of reporting tonnage.

As we know, tonnage is a primary performance metric used to determine the commercial activity of a waterway or portion of the waterway and is collected by the Army Corps of Engineers to be used for a number of data collection purposes. The tonnages are required to be reported by the shipper via vessel operation reports (VORs). Activities for funding allocation including: dredging, resource allocation, construction and operation is based on the threshold of the metric.

The collection of commercial statistics pertaining to rivers, harbors, and waterways, and annual reports thereof to Congress, are required by the River and Harbor Act of June 23, 1866 (14 Stat. 70), the act of February 21, 1891 (26 Stat. 766), the River and Harbor Act of June 13, 1902 (32 Stat. 376), the River and Harbor Act of July 25, 1912 (37 Stat. 201), the River and Harbor Act of Sep­tember 22, 1922 (42 Stat. 1043), and Pub. L. No. 16, February 10, 1932 (47 Stat. 42).

Information regarding vessel, tonnage, commodity, origin, and destination has been collected by the Corps of Engineers from vessel operating companies since 1922. This information is collected on ENG Form 3925 or ENG Form 3925b* and is reported monthly for each company vessel or fleet, that operate or are available for operation. This is used for tracking a specific vessel from its point of origin to its ultimate destination, and also indicates times of active and inactive usage.  It further provides information on commodity movement on the water from its point of loading to its point of unloading.

*** To view or download the ENG Forms, which includes the FORM and the Rules & Regulations and General Instructions for the FORM at:

http://www.navigationdatacenter.us/wcsc/form3925.htm

It is the policy of the Department of Defense to hold in strict confidence any data or information which has been furnished by shippers and others upon the under­standing that it will not be disclosed and will only be used in the compila­tion of port or waterway statistics. Federal employees having access to such privileged information who publishes, divulges, discloses, or makes known in any manner or to any extent not authorized by law any information coming to him in the course of his employment or official duties shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and shall be removed from office or employment.

Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals along with National Waterways Conference would like to encourage the proper reporting to the Waterborne Statistics Center in an order to accurately reflect the usage of the inland waterways.


 

2014 Annual Conference

On April 29, 2014, Jim Taylor, MarineNet, LLC moderated a panel at IRPT’s 2014 Annual Conference in St. Louis on this issue. The session titled, “Getting it Right: Tonnage Reporting” was presented by

Thank you to each of our panelist for sharing their perspective of reporting and raising awareness on how the information is used, how the data is collected and together exploring solutions for our industry.


The issue of tonnage reporting or inaccuracy of; was raised at our September 2013 board meeting. As we all know, infrastructure improvements, dredging activities and funding allocation is determined by who uses the river; which is calculated by tonnage. Many of our members are seeing that the numbers being reported to them and collected by them, fail to compare to the numbers published by the USACE in the tonnage reports. IRPT’s emergency response was to collect information on the basis of how information was collected, by whom, and report to where.

We did this by hosting an open webinar (meaning non-members welcome) on October 8, 2013 presented by Doug McDonald, formerly of the USACE Navigational Data Center. He discussed the Corps process of collecting tonnages from various sources that operate on the US inland and Coastal Waterways. To view the recorded webinar, please click HERE.

By understanding the process of data collection, we can focus on correcting an improving the collection and reporting process in order to receive more accurate numbers and in turn receiving proper funding allocation. The IRPT members facing the discrepancies are immediately put in touch with the Navigation Data Center to address their immediate concerns. We continue to follow the improvements being made, but our long term goal for the inaccuracy of tonnage reporting is to encourage a more systematic approach of reporting thereby unifying operations.