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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. needs to form a 'truly integrated' intermodal system, Horizon Lines' Raymond says

Because of challenges to U.S. freight mobility, the "trilogy" of water, rail and highway systems should complement, not compete against, each other, and form a "truly integrated" intermodal transportation system aligned with the global transportation and logistics network.

That's the message Charles Raymond — chairman, president and chief executive officer of shipping firm Horizon Lines — delivered today at the U. S. Maritime Administration's Third Annual Short Sea Shipping Conference in New York City.

"Short sea shipping entails using existing vessels to move freight between coastal ports, and also between coastal ports and inland ports as a means of reducing congestion on America's highways and rail systems," he said. "A short sea shipping initiative is a critical component of the nation’s transportation system [that] will provide consistent service, reliability, competition and pricing."

Under a short sea shipping plan, waterways would serve as a complementary mode to traditional inland freight modes. In Europe, short sea shipping has been used for more than 10 years to mitigate surface transportation problems.

"The U.S. has yet to achieve a truly intermodal national transportation system," said Raymond. "The system today represents an aggregate of public and private modes of freight and passenger delivery, each with its own stovepipe areas of interest and funding."

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More News from 10/13/2004