Seaports Magazine - Spring 2015 - (Page 27)

» PORTS + POLITICS Ensuring Cost-Efficient Transportation to Global Markets By Sen. John Thune (R-SD) Chairman Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation T ransportation infrastructure, from ports to highways and freight railroads, are the backbone of our economy, providing access to goods and services and enabling trade. As the 114th Congress begins, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has the opportunity to address various infrastructure needs of our nation's vast transportation network. Our economic competitiveness requires reliable and efficient transportation options, a commitment to public infrastructure investment, and a clear policy at the federal level to maintain that network. This year, the Commerce Committee will consider key legislation that sets policy for each of our major modes of transportation. While ports, highways and rail have different infrastructure needs, no one mode exists in a vacuum. Our transportation network must be viewed as a system. Many states, including my home state of South Dakota, do not have ports within our borders, but we rely on functioning ports to send products, including agricultural commodities, to foreign markets and for many critical manufacturing and energy imports. From rail to truck to port, many products take a multimodal journey. We must consider the role of each of these infrastructure elements as we evaluate our nation's growing transportation needs. Ports serve the American economy by providing access to cost efficient transportation to global marketplaces. New shipping alliances and increased ship capacity provide opportunities to further For the transportation network to serve shippers and consumers, ports must function efficiently. Import and export delays have significant economic costs that we cannot afford. enhance productivity at ports, but these new opportunities also create logistics challenges we must address. Enhancing connections between highway and rail systems and port infrastructure will be a key part of ensuring the first and last mile of transportation infrastructure supports growing demand. Ports will face increasing demands to move more products and to move them with greater efficiency. The Committee will work to aid states in developing policies that foster efficiency and enhance the resources that each state offers. Supporting the growth of the freight movement throughout our nation means supporting new jobs and opportunities. This past year's freight rail service challenges have highlighted the interdependence between our modes of transportation. The lack of timely transportation options disrupted the agricultural supply chain, which caused supply challenges for grain elevators, bakers and grocers. Delays in freight movement also had significant economic costs for other segments of the economy, including auto manufacturers and power plants. For the transportation network to serve shippers and consumers, ports must function efficiently. Import and export delays have significant economic costs that we cannot afford. The very real costs of delay can include spoilage of agricultural products, missing a scheduled port call or increased storage fees for shippers. Labor disputes and resource shortages can also have a significant impact on our capacity to move products to market. In addition, the Committee will review port security programs to determine if current programs are the most cost-efficient and effective measures for protecting infrastructure and goods from terrorist threats. As the year gets underway, I will work with my ranking member, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, and my colleagues to develop multimodal freight policies that address the needs of our respective states and regions. Our Committee's oversight and legislative efforts should provide options to address specific freight infrastructure needs, including freight rail and port infrastructure. Input from port stakeholders will be critically important to understanding and effectively addressing these needs as we work with our colleagues in the House of Representatives to remove unnecessary barriers and improve our nation's transportation infrastructure that is so critical to our daily lives. ● SPRING 2015 * WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM 27 http://WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Spring 2015

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Building a Strong Brand
Laying a Foundation for Success
How Tenants and the Freight Community Bring a Brand to Life
The Value of Awards for Ports
Ensuring Cost-Efficient Transportation to Global Markets
‘Welcome to Our Port’
Port of Port Arthur’s Camp Sea Port Sails into the Future
Advocating Seaports Issues Before Policymakers
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Spring 2015