April 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Mar Ad Study Recommends Methods For Improving Inland Waterway Ports

A report released by the Maritime Administration (MarAd) indicates that the greatest potential for maintaining the competitiveness of barge-towing operations on the inland waterways lies in improved river port operations.

Titled "A Primer On Inland Waterways Ports," the six-volume report is the result of a study conducted by A.T. Kearney, Inc., a national transportation/ management consulting firm, for MarAd and the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council of St.

Louis, Mo. MarAd paid two-thirds of the $119,000 cost of the study, and the Coordinating Council the remainder.

The study analyzed the Port of Metropolitan St. Louis as an example of an inland waterways port. Its objectives were to identify constraints to the efficient development and operation of inland river ports throughout the U.S.; determine the effects of river-level fluctuations on port operations; and recommend ways of improving port development and minimizing the effects of operational problems.

A profile of the port of St.

Louis is presented, and the effects of river-level fluctuations on day-to-day port operations are analyzed. The economics of inland port operations also are discussed, as well as such developments as LASH and SEABEE barge services, containerization, and foreign-trade zones.

Recommendations are made for improving operations of ports planned or under development and for increasing the throughput of existing dock and cargohandling facilities. The report also suggests that the many public and private interests involved in the operation of a typical inland port should coordinate their port development efforts and enlist the support of inland ports trade associations.

The report also recommends that the Maritime Administration serve as an industry ombudsman in resolving conflicting rules and regulations among other government agencies.

Finally, the report suggests the development of a single source of funds to promote long-term port development planning.

The six volumes of the report, all under the title of "Study of the Port of Metropolitan St.

Louis, Phase II-A," are available from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Va.

22161. Order numbers and prices are: "A Primer on Inland Waterways Ports," 172 pp., PB 261527/AS, $7.75; "Executive Summary," 33 pp., PB 261528/ AS, $4; "Appendix A, Profile of the Port," 285 pp., PB 261529/ AS, $9.25; "Appendix B, Commodity Market Analysis," 55 pp., PB 261530/AS, $4.50; "Appendix C, Port Operations Analysis," 80 pp., PB 261531/AS, $5, and Atlas (Microfiche only), PB 261532/AS, $3.

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