June 21, 2001
Report calls for switching I-95 boxes to a water route
The idea, being called W-95 (W for water), involves lessening trailer truck traffic and, in particular, the removal of that portion of the trucks hauling containers to and from the Port of New York/New Jersey. Currently, approximately 30,000 sea containers traverse the county annually and the annual rate of increase is projected to be on the order of 5%.
The report is the result of work by Management & Transportation Associates, Inc. (MTA) of Connecticut and New York. It shows that the benefits of "W-95" would include not only less trailer truck traffic, but also less truck engine exhaust emissions, improved road safety and less road maintenance.
MTA believes W-95 could be implemented largely by the private sector and it is understood that at least one major regional trucking concern is very seriously interested in the concept.
MTA is also studying a means to utilize waterborne services in a similar way to remove domestic trailer trucks along the Northeast Corridor. There are even more domestic trailer trucks, particularly 53-footers, crossing Fairfield County than those hauling sea containers identified by the steamship lines names on them.
The route from the Port of New York/New Jersey to Bridgeport by water certainly takes more time, although much of the transit would be accomplished overnight. Increased cargo handling or box transfers (on and off the barges) and certainly more planning and execution are required over simply trucking the containers through the state.
The cost offsets, required for the plan to be attractive to truckers, are expected to come from the savings in moving only the sea containers (trailers) without their overland tractors and drivers. Capital costs for road equipment and maintenance costs also represent further savings areas. Tractors and drivers are, of course, required for local drayage.
The full report is available from:
Management & Transportation Associates, Inc.