Research

A Modal Comparison of Domestic Freight Transportation Effects on the General Public: 2001-2014

Conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute, Center for Ports and Waterways, this study compares selected societal, environmental, and safety impacts of utilizing inland river barge transportation to highway and rail transportation for the years 2001-2014.  The study was updated in January 2017.  Its findings show that waterways transportation keeps our nation's commerce on the move in the safest, most fuel-efficient, environmentally sound way.

“Inland Navigation in the United States: An Evaluation of Economic Impacts and the Potential Effects of Infrastructure Investment,” University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky, November 2014

The United States stands at the brink of a watershed era where transportation planning tools will be of increased importance. For example, as a direct result of large and unforeseen increases in available and affordable domestic energy resources and other areas of opportunity, there is a growing sense that the U.S. economy can look forward to increasing productivity and attendant prosperity. Realizing this opportunity requires the nation’s transportation sector to adapt accordingly. 

This study evaluates the commercial navigation’s system-wide economic impact, both as it is currently configured, and as it might be through renewed infrastructure investment. Beginning with a basic analytical framework anchored in navigation’s role as a productive input in various industrial processes, and extending through technical choices necessary to implement that framework, the study reflects actual, real-world economic interactions and consequences of the current inland navigation system and one where proper infrastructure investments are made.

"Cost of Project Delays:  An Estimate of Foregone Benefits and Other Costs Related to Schedule Delays of Inland Waterways Projects” by HDR Decision Economics, June 2012.

This 2011-2013 study, "Cost of Project Delays:  An Estimate of Foregone Benefits for Inland Waterways Projects" by HDR Decision Economics looks at societal cost resulting from delays to inland waterways infrastructure projects, the benefits foregone from those delays, and the costs imposed by those delays.

"Toward a Full Accounting of the Beneficiaries of Navigable Waterways," by the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research, January 2011

This January 2011 study, performed by the University of Tennessee, Center for Transportation Research for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, looks as the range of potential beneficiaries of America's inland waterway pools and channels.  It examines two specific projects:  Chickamauga and Kentucky Reservoirs. 

Brochures

A Strong Inland Waterways System Delivers a Stronger American Economy

"Waterways: National Economic Return on Investment" (Nov. 2014)

Waterways: Vital to the Nation

Presentations

 A Modal Comparison of Domestic Freight Transportation Effects on the General Public: 2001-2014

Powerpoint Presentation

This powerpoint presentation captures the key elements of the January 2017 updated study, “A Modal Comparison of Domestic Freight Transportation Effects on the General Public: 2001-2014” conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute, Center for Ports and Waterways.  The accompanying presenter script provides a slide-by-slide narrative about the findings of the study, which compares societal impacts of barge, rail and truck transportation modes.    Feel free to download this presentation for your use, contact Waterways Council, Inc. (202/765-2166), or the National Waterways Foundation (202/765-2153) to request a speaker, or incorporate this information into your own presentation.  

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