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Ports, Harbors, and the Urban Coast An Introduction to the Marine Transportation System Jim Kruse, Texas Sea Grant Jim Fawcett, USC Sea Grant A Crash Course in Marine Transportation History of Sea Grant involvement in Marine Transportation and Seaports A primer on marine transportation

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Ports, Harbors, and the Urban Coast

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ports harbors and the urban coast
Ports, Harbors, and the Urban Coast

An Introduction to the Marine Transportation System

Jim Kruse, Texas Sea Grant

Jim Fawcett, USC Sea Grant

a crash course in marine transportation
A Crash Course in Marine Transportation
  • History of Sea Grant involvement in Marine Transportation and Seaports
  • A primer on marine transportation
  • Who are the Sea Grant Specialists
  • What we do
  • How we can help you
sea grant extension and port management
Sea Grant Extension and Port Management
  • Previously, group of marine transportation and seaport specialists from 1980 to about 1995
    • Represented all four coastlines
    • Informal group
    • Group gradually disbanded as specialists retired, became administrators, or left Sea Grant
  • Theme is now being restored with the support of the NSGO and the National Review Panel
marine transportation terms
Marine Transportation Terms
  • MTS: Marine Transportation System
  • TEU: Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (used in measuring the volume of container traffic)
  • Container: A steel intermodal cargo container of standard size
  • Bulk cargo: Cargo not carried in containers
  • Terminal: A facility designed to accommodate one or more ships alongside a wharf where cargo of a specific type can be loaded and unloaded with specialized equipment
marine transportation terms ii
Marine Transportation Terms-II
  • Load Center: Large regional seaport, a “hub”
  • Feeder Port: Subsidiary seaport, often sends cargo to load center ports
  • Niche Port: Port specializing in one or a few types of cargoes
  • Non-maritime Port: Cargo handled only by barges, not seagoing cargo ships
the us marine transportation system
The US Marine Transportation System
  • More than 1,000 harbor channels
  • 25,000 miles of inland, intracoastal and coastal waterways
  • More than 300 ports

3,700 terminals that handle cargo or passengers

inland support infrastructure to the mts
Inland Support Infrastructure to the MTS
  • 152,000 miles of rail

460,000 miles of pipeline

45,000 miles of interstate highways

major functions of the mts
Major Functions of the MTS
  • Cargo Movement
  • Passenger Movement
  • Marine Recreation
  • Fishing & Processing
  • Ports for Navy and Coast Guard
  • System Maintenance (ship construction yards, ship repair yards)
tell me again what s a teu
Tell me again: What’s a TEU?
  • Twenty-foot equivalent unit
  • “Standard” container is 40 ft
  • Container traffic statistics are in TEUs
  • “box” = container
measuring cargo volume
Measuring Cargo Volume
  • For containerized cargo: TEUs (number of 20-foot cargo container equivalents)
  • For bulk cargoes (oil, grain, minerals): tonnage
  • When comparing port statistics of cargo volume, be aware of the difference between the two types of measurements
terms tonnage
Terms: Tonnage
  • Can be metric (2,205 lbs) or short (2,000 lbs) tons
  • Typical measurement for bulk and break bulk cargoes

World Container Ports by Volume, 2001

Includes domestic, international and empty repositioning containers

Source: JoC Week, Vol. 3, Issue 32, August, 2002


U.S. Foreign Trade via Ocean Container Transport 20 Largest US Exporters (2002)

Source: JoC Week, Vol. 4, Issue 17, April 28, 2003


U.S. Foreign Trade via Ocean Container Transport 20 Largest US Importers (2002)

Source: JoC Week, Vol. 4, Issue 17, April 28, 2003


U.S. Ports Ranked by Total Tons


Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Navigation Data Center, www.iwr.usace.army.mil/ndc/wcsc

managing the vessel
Managing the Vessel

Harbor Pilots

Tug Assist

Dockage, Channel Fees

Turning Basins


Docking Maneuvers


Box Barge

200' x 35' Outer188' x 28' x 14' Inner80,000 cubic ft of cargo space

Tank Barge

10,000 Barrels195'

Rake Barge

195' x 35' Outer158' x 28' x 14' Inner60,000 Cubic ft of cargo space

managing the cargo
Managing the Cargo
  • Linehandlers
  • Stevedores
  • Warehousemen
  • Security
  • Clerks
  • Truckers
  • Etc.
bulk cargo terminals i
Bulk Cargo Terminals-I
  • Cargoes are not palletized, containerized or unitized in any way (grain, oil, minerals, aggregates)
  • Typically they require loaders/unloaders
  • They require large storage areas or containment areas (transit sheds, elevators, coveredstorage, pipelines and tank farms)
bulk cargo terminals ii
Bulk Cargo Terminals--II
  • Transportation cost is a high % of total cost of goods
  • Goods themselves are often raw materials
  • Wharfage charged on a tonnage basis
break bulk cargo
Break-Bulk Cargo
  • Palletized, crated, or boxed cargo
  • Cargo that will not fit in a cargo container, usually
  • Sometimes this cargo is carried break-bulk because the port cannot handle containers
neo bulk cargoes
Neo-Bulk Cargoes
  • Structural steel
  • Large machinery (earthmovers, industrial equipment, yachts)
containerized cargo i
Containerized Cargo-I
  • The majority of non-bulk of cargo handled worldwide
  • Requires specialized cranes and yard equipment
  • Require marshalling yards of >40 acres per ship berth for container storage/positioning
  • Special areas in the port required for inspection
containerized cargo ii
Containerized Cargo--II
  • Requires large gate complexes to manage trailer-borne containers into and out of the marine terminal
  • Often new terminals also have dockside rail connections within the terminal
  • An area of the port that can be very congested
  • Security is always an issue
  • Port charges tariffs on a “per container” basis
general cargo
General Cargo
  • “Project cargoes” that may include trailers, pre-fab buildings, earthmoving equipment, drilling rigs
  • Roll-on/Roll-off vessels (vehicles are driven on and off the vessel--imported/exported cars and trucks) [Like your new Maserati]
a port is a port is a port
A Port is a Port is a Port….
  • Port Authority


  • Corps of Engineers Reporting


  • Coast Guard Port Areas

Let’s talk Port Authorities….

port authorities i
Port Authorities-I
  • Manage the landside facilities for ships
  • Usually municipally owned and operated or state owned and operated
  • Sometimes owned in bi-state agreements (e.g. the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)
port authorities ii
Port Authorities-II
  • Act as property and facility managers
  • Governed by commissions or trustees (appointed or elected)
  • Typically seen as critically important to regional economic development
  • Responsible for port development activities
  • Act as the local government representative in negotiations over dredging, air quality, water quality as affected by the marine transportation system
port authorities iii
Port Authorities-III
  • “Landlord” seaports--lease port land on which facilities are built and operated by the terminal operator or carrier
  • “Operating” seaports--public ports that manage the day-to-day activities on its terminals by scheduling vessel calls, arranging for stevedoring services, employing longshore labor and other functions

“Here it is, come use it”

“I’ll do it myself, thank you!”

port relations with federal agencies
US Coast Guard

Immigration and Naturalization Service

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

US Army Corps of Engineers

US Customs Service

National Marine Fisheries Service

US Environmental Protection Agency

US Fish and Wildlife Service

National Ocean Service

Port Relations with Federal Agencies
port relations with state and local agencies
Coastal management agencies

Water quality agencies

Oil spill prevention and response agencies

State fish and game departments

State highway planning and management agencies

Regional transportation management agencies

State and regional air quality management agencies

Councils of government

City and county planning agencies

Port Relations with State and Local Agencies
cargo volume is growing
Cargo Volume is Growing
  • Increased competition between ports
  • Competition between diverse uses in ports
  • Competition between carriers
  • Increasing ship size will result in more cargo being discharged at one time with consequences for the port and its connected transportation network
ship characteristics
Ship Characteristics
  • Ships are increasing in size
  • Many new ships in the Pacific are too large for the Panama Canal
  • The average sized container ship over the past five years has been about 5,000-6,000 TEUs
  • New ships to be delivered this year for Pacific trade will be 9,800 TEUs
  • Ship designs in the pipeline may be as large as 12,000 TEUs
port land use issues
Port Land Use Issues
  • Non-port land uses are encroaching on some of the largest seaports
  • Some ports have little room to expand operations inland
  • Lack of expansion room often means that carriers will move to another competing seaport
  • Rail/road traffic is a major issue for ports handling containerized cargo
seaport environmental issues
Air emissions from ships and trucks

Soil contamination from port industrial tenants

Potential for oil/chemical spills

Habitat destruction from port operations and construction

Traffic congestion

Noxious odors from port operations

Aesthetic complaints about the appearance of port operations

Invasive species (ballast water concerns)

Noise pollution

Seaport Environmental Issues
dredging and disposal
Dredging and Disposal
  • Every port must deal with this issue
  • Complex issue--many regulatory players
  • Army Corps of Engineers is often the major player because they plan, manage and fund the dredging operation
  • Interagency coordination issues make dredging a difficult management problem
  • Dredging is often easier than disposal
public involvement
Public Involvement
  • Often the public is not well informed about the importance of the marine transportation system (MTS)
  • Public ignorance of the issues creates a climate fostering bad public policy decisions about seaports
  • There are many potential points of intervention for public involvement in marine transportation and seaport issues
infrastructure issues
Infrastructure Issues
  • In large ports rail and road systems are becoming congested
  • At large ports the rail and road systems need to be expanded to meet increasing cargo demand
  • Many players in the planning process
  • Ample opportunities for public involvement
  • Impacts of congestion often reach hundreds of miles away from the seaports
capital improvement funding
Capital Improvement Funding
  • Ports use a combination of
    • Taxes
    • Bonds
    • Operating funds
marine transportation and seaport specialists what we do i
Marine Transportation and Seaport Specialists--What We Do--I
  • Concentrate on the MTS issues
  • Stay current on MTS issues
  • Maintain relationships with agencies and organizations that deal with MTS issues
    • American Association of Port Authorities
    • NOAA-National Ocean Service
    • National marine transportation organizations
    • Federal and state regulatory agencies
marine transportation and seaport specialists what we do ii
Marine Transportation and Seaport Specialists--What We Do--II
  • Lecture on MTS issues
  • Promote campus-based research on these issues
  • Keep our arms around the issues and try to distill the basic themes for the public and academic audiences (including marine extension staff)
what we can do for you i
What We Can Do for You--I
  • Explain MTS issues in person or by phone for you and marine extension staff
  • Help you to design strategies for enhancing public understanding and participation in MTS issues
  • Help you and your clients to participate in planning processes of the various agencies involved
  • Help you develop teaching/public education materials on marine transportation
what we can do for you ii
What We Can Do for You--II
  • We can help you design meetings to bring diverse parties to forums that have a wider focus than public agency meetings
  • We can help you identify curriculum materials or background materials on MTS
  • We can provide contacts with other federal and state agencies on MTS issues
  • We can advise you when you need more information about the seaport/marine transportation process
what you can do
What You Can Do
  • Help your extension staff to be better informed about MTS issues
  • Contact us if you see an emerging MTS issue in your area
  • Contact us if you need help or want a reality check on an MTS issue
contact information
Jim Kruse

Sea Grant National Ports and Harbors Specialist

Texas Sea Grant/Texas Transportation Institute

701 North Post Oak, Suite 430

Houston, TX 77024



James A. Fawcett, Ph.D.

Marine Transportation/

Seaport Specialist

Sea Grant Program, MC-0373

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0373



Contact Information