October 13, 2004

Horizon's Raymond opens Short Sea Shipping conference

Charles G. (Chuck) Raymond,CEO, Chairman and President of Horizon Lines, noting "daunting" challenges to U. S. freight mobility, today recommended that "the trilogy of water, rail and highway systems complement and not compete with each other" in promoting a short sea shipping initiative.

The three modes should, he said, "be part of a truly integrated intermodal transportation system aligned to the global transportation and logistics network."

Raymond was opening speaker today at the U. S. Maritime Administration&Mac185;s Third Annual Short Sea Shipping Conference in New York City.

"Short sea shipping entails using existing vessels to move freight between coastal ports and also between coastal ports and inland ports as a means of reducing congestion on America&Mac185;s highways and rail systems," he explained.

Raymond served for three years as the first Chairman of the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council to the Secretary
of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"The short sea shipping initiative is a critical component of the nation's transportation system," he said.

"Short sea shipping has expanded to include new stakeholders such as the I-95 Corridor Coalition, state Departments of Transportation, metropolitan planning organizations and others," noted Raymond.

The short sea shipping plan, Chuck Raymond said, envisions waterways as a complementary mode to traditional modes of inland freight movement. "In the longer term, short sea shipping will require new, technologically advance vessels and infrastructure to meet capacity demands, which will help revitalize the American maritime and shipbuilding industries." He added that the environmental benefits include reducing emissions and energy use.

He noted that in Europe short sea shipping has been used to mitigate significant surface transportation problems for more than 10 years. "Today, in excess of 44 percent of all freight movements in the European Union are waterborne and EU policy makers have placed short sea and coastal shipping&Mac220;in close coordination with rail and highway freight improvements&Mac220;at the top of their transportation agendas."

In Europe, he said, what is called "the motorways of the sea" is already a vital part of the transportation system. "It is clearly a growth industry in Europe and is the only European transportation mode that has kept pace with the growth of road transportation," noting that short sea performs 41 percent of all ton-kilometers in Europe and road transport share is 43 percent.

 "The U.S. has yet to achieve a truly intermodal national transportation system. The system today represents an aggregate of public and private modes of freight and passenger delivery each with its own stovepipe areas of interest and funding," said Chuck Raymond. "The inherent trade advantages enjoyed by the United States could be negated, in the near future, if we do not make a concerted effort to maintain, enhance, modernize and expand the base of our marine transportation system and the service at our nation&Mac185;s ports."

Raymond urged support of legislation to provide resources to help local ports meet their growing infrastructure needs and better handle increased business. "It will focus on leveraging funds from federal, state and local governments, as well as the private sector, to address the capital needs of the Marine Transportation System."

We may, he said, "begin the process of truly integrating water into our overall transportation system."


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