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System Data and Information

Cruise ships docked at a port.

Port and Terminal Database

There does not exist a comprehensive deep draft and shallow draft database of marine terminals at our Nation’s ports that is up-to-date and can be used to evaluate the adequacy of access/egress systems to identify areas of improvement required to increase the flow of freight. Information needed by the Department of Transportation for use in policy development as needed in the Surface Transportation Authorization, ISTEA, TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU is not current. Information is also needed for requirements development under the MTS Initiative as defined to include the Nation’s waterways, ports and land connections. A comprehensive survey of information is also needed as primary input for the Committee for the Marine Transportation System National Assessment. From an economic and investment view data/information supports the analysis and evaluation of a number of issues that could interrupt the flow of freight.

The Maritime Administration port and terminal database provides direct support for the above mentioned functions and to other Departments and independent agencies to respond to National emergencies from the event to recovery to steps needed for restoration. This includes port/terminal system interruptions related to: (1) commercial disruptions (e.g., strikes/slowdowns), (2) natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes), and (3) terrorist incident (e.g., dirty bomb). Data/information from the database provides the foundation by which to determine the present level of system performance and future requirements. Such an approach not only provides how best to use existing infrastructure, but also provides guidance on how best to use scarce investment dollars for smart growth of the U.S. transportation system.

Aggregate Port and Terminal Productivity Methodology Project

The Maritime Administration is developing a project to have an automated system or algorithm that calculates regional and national container port and terminal productivity indices on an on-going basis. This project is being undertaken in response to the trend in the transportation field of moving toward performance-based management for the planning, programming, and delivery of transportation projects and services. A number of transportation agencies, system operators, and private sector providers have experimented with performance based measures to predict, shape, and report on the results of system investments and operations. Performance information is also being used, by these same entities, to monitor the transportation system by demonstrating that decisions based on measures lead to identification, selection, and funding of the most effective projects and services, and that these are then delivered efficiently and produce the intended results. Reports based on performance data are also being used to provide information about the actual condition and efficiency of system components using the Internet as a tool to make wider distribution easier and less costly. The goals of the project are to; (1) develop and implement performance measures, (2) apply measurements nation-wide, (3) provide consistent collection and reporting of data, (4) develop ways to improve future performance, and (5) provide policy guidance.

Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018