Short Seas Shipping in the US

While highly utilized in the logistics solutions of Europe and Asia, Short Seas Shipping is a less often mentioned solution here in the United States for efficient, safe and clean transportation of domestic cargo.

Defined as the movement of freight by sea while remaining in the same continent without crossing an ocean, short sea shipping includes the movement of wet and dry bulk cargoes, containers and passengers along the coast. While the United States does have a large and robust fleet of coast wise tug & tow vessels, predominantly for the transportation of oil products and another large inland fleet of barges for bulk food and raw materials, the majority of dry goods and containers shipped along and between the east, west and gulf coasts depends on interstate highway systems. 

As the Federal government takes drastic and controversial steps to curb the ailing economy political leaders must look at sound alternatives to the costly, dirty and inefficient transportation systems in use today. Without support for a redefined "Marine Highway" in the form of government initiatives, funding and subsidies, the U.S. will become less sustainable at home and less competitive abroad.  

If you believe that the cost of oil will rise, the affects of air pollution are worsening and the maintenance of America's highways are not sustainable than I hope to spark your interest in this often ignored issue. Without the transportation industry embracing what has worked for decades along the shores of other continents I believe that our standing as a leader in the global economy will be jeopardized. Below I have compiled information which I refer to when making this argument to friends, colleagues and within the Blogosphere:
Short Seas Shipping Initiatives

Marine Highways Cooperative 
America's Marine Highways Cooperative was born on October 15, 2003 and consists of public and private organizations committed to improve transportation mobility through international and national marine highway shipping and the development of intermodal coastal and inland trades. It also looks to develop partnerships with carriers and shippers engaged in international trade.

America's Marine Highways
This site is  a good source for seeing what's going on with current legislation in government regarding the Marine Highway System.

Waterways Council

Feasibility Studies from Tow Masters Forum

Companies - Actual or Envisioned
Coastal Connect

Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry

 Logistics Resources for Short Seas Shipping
Maritime Transport & Logistics Advisors, LLC

Hornblower Marine Services - Consulting. Construction. And Much More.

Humboldt Maritime Logistics

Green Ships 

The following YouTube video, "Keep America Moving" is from the Waterways Council advocating for America's lock and dam infrastructure. Inland waterways are an essential part of the inter-modal transportation solution.

This video is a good example of one company that not only all ready has a global logistics net work but is a major player in European short sea shipping markets.

For more on European Short Sea Shipping see: Short Sea Promotion Center Holland
Shortsea shipping is the modern alternative of road haulage within Europe. This website provides you with any information possible, and backgrounds about this mode of transport.