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0-5695-1 Report Abstract

Short Sea Shipping Initiatives and the Impacts on the Texas Transportation System: Technical Report

C. James Kruse, Juan Carlos Villa, David H. Bierling, Manuel Solari Terra and Nathan Hutson, Texas A&M University, October 2007, 98 pp. (0-5695-1)

This report examines the potential effects of short sea shipping (SSS) development on the Texas transportation system.  The project region includes Texas, Mexico, and Central America.  In the international arena, the most likely prospects are for containerized shipments using small container ships.  In the domestic arena, the most likely prospects are for coastwise shipments using modified offshore service vessels or articulated tug/barges.  Only three Texas ports handle containers consistently (Houston accounts for 95% of the total), and three more handle containers sporadically.  Other ports could potentially offer a limited container service but will most likely require equipment and infrastructure upgrades to be competitive.  The report identifies several triggers, which—if they were to occur—could abruptly change the level of SSS activities in the region.  Even with a doubling of current SSS volumes, the effects on the Texas highway and rail system will most likely be insignificant, with the possible exceptions of Freeport and Brownsville.

Keywords: Short Sea Shipping (SSS), Coastwise, Central America, Mexico, Texas ports, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, GIWW, Marine Highways

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 1.6 MB)