Posted: Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory of the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center has released a new technical report on performance measures for the marine transportation system (MTS). The report, Marine Transportation System Performance Measures Research, highlights existing data and measures in the areas of economics, capacity and reliability, safety and security, environmental stewardship, and resilience. An Executive Summary is available online.

Producer PriceThe Producer Price Index records the prices producers charge for their goods and services. This figure shows how prices for different transportation modes have changed from 2004 to 2016. Water transportation prices (shown in blue), like truck transportation prices, have risen at a slower rate than air, pipeline, or rail prices over the past decade.

Performance measures, indicators, or metrics help to demonstrate how elements are functioning within a larger complex system, such as an international supply chain. Performance measurement is a process to evaluate the relationship between inputs and outputs within the structure of a specific system and, subsequently, to identify areas of possible improvement. Ultimately, regular performance measurement can assist with decision support by providing consistent and quantitative feedback relevant to long-term performance goals.

This report identifies important gaps in our current knowledge of U.S. marine transportation system performance and describes a roadmap for using current and future performance data in research on nationally significant intermodal freight flows. The report drew on expert input from multiple Federal agencies and offices, including the Department of Transportation–Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Maritime Administration, the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A companion public website features graphical summaries of the current list of MTS performance measures.

Access the report Marine Transportation System Performance Measures Research at the following links:

Executive Summary
Full Report
Companion Website

Producer PriceIntermodal freight moves from one mode to another, such as water-to-truck or truck-to-rail. As supply chains get longer and more complex, it is possible that the amount of intermodal traffic will increase. This figure shows monthly intermodal freight totals in North America, as reported by the transportation industry, from 2010 to 2014. Although these are normal month-to-month variations, the overall trend is more intermodal freight with every passing year.
The CMTS is a Federal interagency coordinating committee directed by Congress and charter to improve the coordination of and make recommendations with regard to Federal policies that impact the MTS.