Tuesday, November 2, 2010

US Waterborne Freight Schemes Under Way

California Green Trade Corridor is a First Step to Nationwide System
Shipping News Feature

US – In April we wrote of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s intent to stimulate freight shipment by short sea and inland waterway routes with the ambitious Marine Highway Project and October saw an important development in bringing the vision of more environmentally friendly movement of cargo around America.

Last week Maritime Administrator David T. Matsuda joined other federal, state and local officials at the Port of Stockton to officially break ground on California’s new Green Trade Corridor, an alternative water borne route for freight between Stockton and West Sacramento to Oakland. Currently cargo moves through the area by truck or rail wagon and the scheme gives shippers a real opportunity to utilise a cleaner transport method.

Funds from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery project (TIGER) and its $30 million budget sanctioned as part of the Recovery Act will enable the construction of cargo staging together with the purchase of two cranes and a barge at the Port of Stockton, construct an intermodal distribution centre complete with handling equipment in Western Sacramento for the consolidation of consignments into shipping containers for onward barge transport, plus the installation of power stations in the Port of Oakland allowing vessels to switch off engines whilst moored.

Many of the goods emanating from Northern California are destined for transhipment and forwarding to the Far East and Ray La Hood was clearly pleased with the schemes progress saying:

“The Green Trade Corridor project will demonstrate the environmental benefits of freight transportation on America’s Marine Highways, not only for California but for all of America. It will also create good, solid transportation jobs for today and far into the future.”

Photo: MARAD Administrator David Matsuda (fourth from left) with port officials at the Green Trade Corridor groundbreaking in Stockton.