Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/381781
26 Proceedings Fall 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings The MTS is a large and dynamic system of vital importance to our nation's economic wellbeing and national security. Each of the fve main components: navigable waterways, ports, intermodal connections, vessels, and users work together so effciently that most Americans take it for granted. 1 To keep the marine transportation system operating the way it should, the U.S. Coast Guard created a Western Hemi- sphere Strategy that outlines its policies to safeguard mari- time commerce. Globalization In this increasingly connected world, nations rely on an effcient global transportation network for trade and travel. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that 77 per- cent of U.S. merchandise trade by weight, and 45 percent by value, moves on water. Additionally, it is anticipated that the marine transportation system will grow for decades to come. 2 Domestically, the marine transportation system produces jobs that pay a living wage. Merchant marine offcers and sailors work on vessels in our foreign-trading U.S.-fagged feet, the coastwise U.S.-fagged feet, on the inland water- ways systems, and in harbors. Logistics and port operations experts are entrusted with handling all types of cargo as vessels moor. As of 2011, the U.S. Maritime Administration A crewmember stands watch as a vessel transits Cook Inlet, Alaska. Photo courtesy of Mr. Trevor Daviscourt, an American Maritime Offcers mariner. A U.S.-fagged container ship moors in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, after a voy- age from Oakland, Calif., during a 10-port run supporting U.S. foreign trade. U.S. Coast Guard photo by author LT Jonathan Hsieh. reported 60,000 jobs directly related to water transporta- tion, more than 90,000 in port services, and approximately 100,000 associated with the U.S. shipbuilding and repairing industry. 3 In addition, millions of jobs throughout the nation depend on international cargo delivery. Not only do our nation's waterways support the vital coastal vessel and inland tug and barge industry, but "marine high- way corridors" on these waterways also allow trailers and containers to move on water, via container-on-barge ship- ping and short-sea shipping. The marine highway also pro- vides a method to ship cargo and heavy equipment, allow- ing shippers to bypass highway and surface street weight limitations. Moreover, the marine transportation system also sus- tains the commercial and subsistence fshing industries, provides nationwide recreational boating opportuni- ties, and even forms an integral part of public transit. For example, people near coasts and rivers sometimes use passenger ferries to reduce the time it takes to com- mute to work. In effect, the MTS benefts all of us, and it is the job of all who use and work on it to spread that awareness. All Hands on Deck! To support the marine transportation system, the gov- ernment and the maritime industry must collaborate to safeguard maritime commerce and achieve peak eff- ciency in the maritime industry. Marine transportation system governance is achieved through a variety of responsibilities among more than a dozen federal agen- cies, which focus on sustaining and increasing: • capacity, • safety and security, • environmental stewardship, • resilience and reliability, • sound fnance and economics. Local and state governments must also advocate for a reliable system that benefts the local community, so