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Panel 4

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Supply Chain Challenges to the Maritime Transportation System

Moderator: Allison Bennett Irion, Argonne National Laboratory

Inland maritime transportation systems (MTS) play major roles in domestic and international supply chains, with unique challenges related to upstream and downstream sources disruption, accessibility and shifts in commodities, as well as demand and supply imbalances. With a 20% on-time arrival statistic, the U.S. east coast serves as an example for the increasing appeal of inland waterways as a cost-effective, alternative, with Port of Cleveland traffic reportedly increasing 70% between 2020 and 2021. Secondary ports, energy transport and a desire to reduce carbon emissions along the entire value chain bring the inland MTS in greater focus.

Jennifer States, Vice President of Projects and Strategy, Washington Maritime Blue, Seattle, WA

Marine transportation is an energy-efficient means to move cargo and it serves as backbone to supply chains within Washington State. A sustainable future requires a greater degree of focus on the development of maritime business, technologies and practices support communicates, ecological health and economic growth. Jennifer will share how workforce development, stakeholder engagement and strategic regional alliances are working together to address current and future supply chain challenges, while increasing the competitiveness of Washington state in the national and international market for maritime services, including in technology developments, such as 5G, and through demonstration projects.

Eric Peace, Vice President Lake Carriers’ Association, Westlake, Ohio

The physical landscape is changing relative to seaway systems, which open new challenges and opportunities. Eric will discuss Great Lakes icebreaking and the impact is has or does not have on making the Great Lakes and seaway system reliable during the winter months.  As Great Lakes ports continue to vie for additional cargos to relieve the coastal U.S. pressures, it becomes even more imperative that the system remains dependable. 

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