According to the recently released M-55 Marine Highway Initiative Study, there is a significant opportunity for the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to carry more oversized and overweight (OSOW) freight, particularly manufactured goods and large containers of agricultural goods. While waterborne freight volumes have increased by more than 50 percent over the last 30 years, foreign trade has driven this growth and domestic waterborne freight volumes have remained relatively flat. Although the US Maritime Administration defined a system of Marine Highways in 2007 that run roughly parallel to Interstate Highways, and has worked to increase freight on these corridors to reduce roadway congestion, volumes have not changed significantly.
Society pays more for trucking
A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), released earlier this year, details the far greater marginal costs imposed on society from trucking than rail or waterborne shipping. These costs include public infrastructure costs (such …