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1 Opening Session Introduction Sandra Knight, WaterWonks, LLC, Conference Planning Committee Chair, presiding o put this conference and the resulting circular in context, in the mid-1990s, a group called the Federal Waterways Research and Development Coordination Committee, which consisted primarily of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), met regularly and alternately sponsored a research and technology (R&T) conference with the help of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The primary goals were to share ideas and current work of these organizations and to look for opportunities to collaborate. In response to congressional direction in September 1999, a report to Congress entitled An Assessment of the U.S. Marine Transportation System1 was prepared by USCG and signed by Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater. The Fifth Federal Waterways R&T Conference was held in November of that year in Washington, D.C., and was expanded beyond just research and collaboration interests. By the next research and development (R&D) conference in November 2001, the Ocean Act of 2000 had been passed, and the Interagency Committee on Marine Transportation Systems (ICMTS) and the Marine Transportation System (MTS) National Advisory Committee had been established. With these changes, the original R&D Coordination Committee was rebranded as the ICMTS R&T Subcommittee. The seventh conference took place soon after September 11, 2001 (9/11), and the agenda focused heavily on port and maritime security. That agenda also included the topic of the current conference: intermodal freight network systems. Somewhat by coincidence, Anne Aylward, the current introductory keynote speaker, was on one of the plenary panels on intelligent MTSs. Between the political push for an integrated MTS and the urgency of 9/11, the original R&T conference became a focal point, drawing agency and industry leaders. Topics expanded beyond research and into addressing broader challenges across the MTS. In September 2004, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, established by the Ocean Act of 2000, released its report recommending elevating ICMTS to a cabinet-level committee, the CMTS. Serendipitously, the 2004 Marine Transportation Research and Technology Conference took place during this time and was followed by President George W. Bushâs issuing of the 1 U.S. Department of Transportation, 1999. T
2 U.S. Ocean Action Plan directing the establishment of CMTS. That same year, TRB published Special Report 279: The Marine Transportation System and the Federal Role: Measuring Performance: Targeting Improvement2. Over the following years, the CMTS selected an executive director and built a national MTS strategy; in 2009, the R&D coordination committee was reconstituted and rebranded as the R&D Integrated Action Team (R&D IAT). The first conference under the CMTS umbrella was held in 2010 in Irvine, California. Under the R&D IAT, the format of the conference returned to its R&D roots: advancing research in support of MTS. The scope became more strategic, bringing in private industry and academia. The conference also launched the beginnings of a coordinated R&D strategy to support the CMTS. This format proved an effective way to identify pressing challenges and to gather important ideas to inform R&D strategy. Across the intervening conferences, the resulting R&D accomplishments have been notable, and the growing complexity of the challenges makes the relevance of the Fifth Biennial Marine Transportation System Research and Development Conference even more important. This conference builds on the four previous conferences, bringing earlier focuses together to consider new ways to enhance decision-making as the title, Transforming the Marine Transportation System Through Multimodal Freight Analytics, indicates. TRB specifically engaged an esteemed planning committee composed of top researchers, practitioners and academicians with expertise in freight transportation, marine transportation, and data analytics. The focus came from the CMTS National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System, which calls for optimizing system performance through better forecasting of freight flow. In support of this concept, the technical and plenary sessions were designed to identify research needs, gaps, and potential technology gains related to harnessing robust, integrated, high-fidelity3 multimodal freight transportation data and analytics. This proceedings presents the material presented and discussed at the Fifth Biennial Conference, or, in reality, the 12th. Perspective of the Committee on Marine Transportation Systems Jeff Lillycrop, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers he mission of the CMTS Maritime Innovative Science and Technology(MIST) IAT includes the following: 2 TRB, Washington, D.C., 2004. 3 In this context, high-fidelity data are data that more accurately reflect or reproduce the entity being measured, such as dock-level or county/zip codeâlevel freight data as opposed to state or regional level freight data. T
3 â¢ Providing CMTS with a strategic capability to identify, coordinate, develop, and implement innovative science and technology to address the pressing challenges identified in the National CMTS Strategy and by the coordinating board â¢ Conducting the Biennial R&D or Science and Technology Conference. A summary of past conferences includes the following: â The 2010 R&D conference, Transforming the MTS: A Vision for R&D, resulted in a strategic action plan, which was published in January 2011. This roadmap affected agencies and USACE by helping focus on research priorities. â The 2012 R&D conference, Diagnosing the MTS: Measuring Performance and Targeting Improvement, resulted in an interagency, academic, and industry conceptual framework of indicators describing MTS as a system. The framework was first generation and was further developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) MAP-21 initiative and others. Work continues today on improving system metrics and understanding MTS performance. â The 2014 R&D conference, Innovative Technologies for a Resilient MTS, resulted in identification of research gaps that informed research being performed across many agencies and academia today. This conference also provided the catalyst for creation of the CMTS Resilience Integrated Action Team, whose mission is to incorporate the concepts of resilience into the operation and management of MTS. â The 2016 R&D conference, From Sail to SatelliteâDelivering Solutions for Tomorrowâs MTS, updated the CMTS R&D Strategy (2017â2022). These conferences have identified several R&D needs in infrastructure, MTS operations, impacts of MTS on its surroundings, and data sharing and access. More information from these conferences is available at CMTS.gov. The Number 1 identified need from the 2016 R&D conference is a high-fidelity freight flow model, the topic for this conference. Work has started at USDOT and USACE, and many initiatives are under way across and outside of these agencies. The need for a high-fidelity freight flow model is underscored by the questions below: â¢ Where are the most significant system bottlenecks with the greatest constraining effects on overall MTS capacity? â¢ Where can targeted investments and operational changes best increase MTS reliability, provide the greatest return on investment, and reduce significant vulnerabilities? â¢ If a marketplace dispute leads to throughput disruptions across a region, is there sufficient capacity for that cargo to move to another region? â¢ Does intermodal freight flow more efficiently across all modes if a navigation channel in a particular port is dredged 3 feet deeper? Making informed decisions on MTS infrastructure investments and operations requires understanding and modeling the system, including identifying all the links for and between road and rail, and understanding how freight flows from origin to destination (O-D). These connections and interdependencies are complicated, but technical advances over the past 5 or so years have created an unprecedented opportunity to develop a high-fidelity
4 numerical network that can be used with operations research and systems engineering tools to quantify freight flow accurately over different spatial and temporal scales. MTS may not be the biggest player in the national freight flow discussion, but much of the national flow of freight originates or terminates at a port. Key to succeeding with this challenge is collaborating with the other transportation modes as well as with industry and academia to consider fully the multimodal freight flow theme of this conference. A dialogue about what is needed and what success should look like is necessary, as are commitments from the community, a mandate from leaders, and the necessary funding to move this agenda forward. The technical challenges are significant and require a national multimodal, multidisciplinary, multiagency initiative. For instance, O-D data from the automatic identification system (AIS) on marine vessels and from similar GPS-enabled tracking technologies, often referred to as âprobe data,â on road and rail produce not only historic performance metrics, but also, with research, could yield flow information. Coupling or calibrating these data sources with traditionally reported data sets, including Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center, Freight Analysis Framework, and Commodity Flow Survey data, allows for better understanding of how vehicle/vessel movements correspond to actual freight flows. Identifying individual trips that specific commodities take as they flow from ports to final destinations, how long these take, and what congestion is encountered, as well as many other evaluations, is necessary to model freight flow accurately. Knowledge gained to create this freight flow network would serve not only MTS, but also all transportation modes providing granular, scalable, multimodal, interactive data; maps; and tools for scenario-based decision support. A collaborative effort could produce a national tool with transparent results. If CMTS wants to evaluate freight flow accurately, determine impacts of investments, estimate where the most value is based on fixing aging infrastructure, or see the impacts caused with other modal investments, a high-fidelity model would be helpful. These are some of the analyses required to respond to questions from the administration and Congress. SUMMARY AND CONFERENCE CHALLENGE This conference consisted of keynotes from thought leaders, panels of experts from a broad range of perspectives, and breakout sessions of attendees to identify the technical challenges. Opportunities for discussion were included throughout the conference both during and outside formal sessions. The goal of this conference was to come together as a community around current activities related to a national freight flow model that includes marine, rail, and highway. This goal includes extending the discussion of requirements, recognizing what can be leveraged from existing efforts, highlighting current barriers, identifying gaps, and considering methods to communicate this information to garner support.
5 Keynote Address Anne Aylward, U.S. Department of Transportation arine transportation plays a major role in the intermodal transportation system, freight movement, data analytics, and stimulation of global commerce, trade, and economic growth. The good news and bad news is that many players are engaged in marine transportation across all levels of government and the private sector. Opportunities to come together, such as this conference, are crucial. The final report4 by the National Commission on Intermodal Transportation recommended that the federal government needed to maintain existing data programs to collect freight activity data and to ensure that these programs were compatible with the requirements of local and regional transportation planning. In those days, the port and MTS and freight movement data were largely viewed as the province of the private sector and state, local, and private ports. In the past 25 years, enormous progress has been made in recognizing how important it is for the federal government to partner with these local, state and private entities to facilitate the global movement of freight and to enhance the MTS to support freight movement. Recently, USDOT highlighted the vital role that freight transportation plays in Americaâs economy. North American freight numbers have reached record high levels. Freight shipments rose 6.1 percent from November 2016 through the early months of 2018. The total value of U.S. international merchandise trade rose 37.6 percent from 2000 to 2016, with a value of approximately $3.3 trillion dollars. These data are based on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Freight Analysis Framework and the Freight Transportation Services Index. Today, we have an opportunity to achieve new levels of analysis and understanding of the MTS. Together, we must leverage new advanced analytics tools to transform further the MTS and its role in the global economy. Three key areas offer both challenges and opportunities related to port, marine, and multimodal freight analytics: (1) communications, coordination, and capacity building; (2) data needs and resources; and (3) planning and decision-making. COMMUNICATION, COORDINATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING Public-sector agencies are looking for creative ways to share multimodal freight information both internally and with the private sector. Historically private-sector concerns about sharing proprietary information have limited the public sectorâs ability to access this information. At the same time, sunshine5 and freedom of information laws have hampered the public sectorâs abilities to protect proprietary data. 4 Toward a National Intermodal Transportation System: Final Report. National Commission on Intermodal Transportation (U.S.), eBook 1994, REL-1.201.0-113, 3fc57add-ebc0-4718-b457-d70b46a37113. 5 A sunshine law is a law requiring certain proceedings of government agencies to be open or available to the public. M
6 Significant opportunities are available to better articulate and align private and public sector goals around data collection and sharing as well as to align internal agency goals better. Identifying and communicating mutual benefits of information sharing will help to incentivize this activity, as will sharing of best practices. For example, individual ports share data between terminals, the public port authority, labor, truckers, and shipping companies to improve productivity. Outreach to multiple stakeholders at all levelsâincluding agency leadership, elected officials, regional/local decision makers, private industry, and the publicâdemonstrates how having more robust multimodal freight data can contribute to better decisions, investments, and outcomes. At the same time, this communication and sharing of multimodal freight information can contribute to national security. Our military forces need to enter and move across our national freight networks to reach key strategic seaports to deploy overseas. When the bell sounds, these forces need to move fast and unimpeded, potentially disrupting commercial freight. This sharing and coordination include peacetime planning critical to understanding potential challenges while trying to ensure that military forces possess the required global mobility necessary to succeed. Stakeholders face many challenges affecting the advancement of multimodal freight analytics. Local and state public-sector agencies often struggle with resource constraints including funding, limited staff availability, and lack of technical expertise. Any one or all of these can seriously hinder this advancement. Private-sector decision makers in the marine industry are often offshore owners and, even if domestic, are not locally based at each port; this factor complicates data sharing and decision-making. Decision-making associated with the port and MTS and its need for strategic investment is spread across a multitude of agencies. One goal for this conference is to continue developing a coherent approach to ensure that the nationâs maritime transportation system is robust and able to meet global logistics requirements. DATA NEEDS AND RESOURCES A recent paradigm shift has occurred in terms of how the analytics of freight movement is understood. In the past, the marine transportation analytics generally considered only the endpoints in the marine chain: the port of origin and the port of destination. The industry analytics considered the endpoints in the product chain: the point of production and the point of consumption. E-commerce has substantially changed this paradigm, requiring more detailed consideration of how and where freight moves, along with expectations of what data are readily available. Public-sector agencies often struggle to keep up with rapidly evolving information and technology trends, such as e-commerce. Newer technologies such as dronesâcoupled with quickly evolving trends such as the advent of blockchain technologies and the expansion of autonomous technologies in shippingâhave the potential to change freight operations and logistics at a faster and faster pace. Though offering many new opportunities for moving
7 freight better, more safely, and more efficiently and effectively, these applications are introducing new questions on how freight data and information are produced, who has access to the data, how that information can be used, by whom or for what purpose, and how private-sector data can be appropriately used by the public sector. In response, the public sector is continually challenged to develop new modeling and analytic approaches that best leverage newly available data and capture shifts in travel patterns and travel characteristics. In general, a mismatch exists between available private-sector freight data resources and public-sector practitioner needs. A need exists for new data, new models, and guidance on how to make better use of existing data and models to support more tailored multimodal analyses, with a resulting need to make the information emerging from these models actionable in the real world. For example, a long-standing challenge with the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) is that it provides a highly aggregated national picture of freight flows. However, practitioners would like to use the FAF to support more granular analysis at the state, metropolitan, and local levels. Another challenge occurs because different agencies and sectors have different standards for handling freight and permitting data. Agencies may struggle to establish common data standards and attributes that facilitate communication and sharing. In addition, agencies and the private sector may differ on what data can be shared, what is considered to be truly need to know. Conversely, maritime carriers have been quick to follow shippers in harnessing big data applications for their fleets for not only optimizing cargo flows, but also improving actual operations of their vessels. This type of data management and analysis has revolutionized the back offices of these companies. But many public agencies are limited by inadequate legacy systems or data. A newer trend in the public sector toward developing more integrated and multimodal analytics has resulted in more integrated approaches that consider how best to combine freight and land use planning/modeling and how to incorporate behavioral-based freight modeling approaches. Consumers of information at the local and state level have evolving expectations for how they want to interact with freight data. A general emphasis has developed on data tools that are highly customizable to usersâ needs, are very user-friendly and easily manipulated, and are able to generate many kinds of outputs, including visualizations, charts, figures, and illustrations. While big data offer significant opportunities to improve public agenciesâ understanding of how, why, and where multimodal freight moves, the use of big data is riddled with challenges. Some users have reported being overwhelmed with too much data and inadequate resources or expertise to know how best to analyze the information to support key decision-making. USDOT can play a role in sharing best practices and continuing to provide tools to support appropriate use of data.
8 PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING The freight provisions in the Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation (FAST) Act include a requirement to develop a national multimodal freight network, in part to support states in more strategically directing resources toward improved system performance for the efficient movement of freight through the network. The FAST act also established, for the first time, a dedicated source of federal funding for freight projects, including multimodal projects. The simple act of reviewing port FAST Act and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant applications has educated USDOT staff about the needs of ports and the marine freight transportation system. Public agencies are looking for ways to integrate multimodal freight data better into existing required planning processes to help prioritize freight projects better and to ensure that they are programmed into transportation improvement plans and state improvement plans. Because ports are often independent, it is important that they are included in the planning process and in the process of identifying funding priorities. Better public education about the importance of marine transportation and the movement of freight are key to this dialogue and to the willingness of taxpayers to invest in the MTS as a part of the nationâs intermodal transportation system and the global freight system. A television ad from many years ago effectively demonstrates the importance of public education about marine transportation and movement of freight. The Port of Los Angeles produced this ad, which featured a family in a living room watching television. Item by item of imported productsâthe TV, furniture, accessories, clothingâwas removed from the picture, so that the family was left sitting on the floor in their underwear. This was a lasting image of the global connectedness of our economy. At the national level, USDOT, through the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, has employed advanced data and imaging analytics tools and methods to help solve transportation challenges. These efforts include developing and deploying state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, cost-effective vessel tracking networks that enhance maritime situational awareness in waterways around the world. This work evolved from a partnership with the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation to develop and deploy a precise all-weather navigation system using electronic monitoring devices, marking the first time that the AIS was used on an inland waterway. Building on this success, the U.S. Navy and the Volpe Center rolled out vessel tracking on a global scale as part of the Maritime Safety and Security Information System (MSSIS). Today, more than 70 nations use the MSSIS, which tracks tens of thousands of vessels globally, all day, every day. The MSSIS improves situational awareness and has been integral in disaster relief efforts, drug smuggling enforcement and antipiracy efforts, particularly for nations in Africaâand it all began on the seaway. The MSSIS has also been a strong diplomatic tool, building relationships in West Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia.
9 Recently, to analyze potential fuel options, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Navyâs Office of Naval Research contracted with Volpe to develop a national model for evaluating optimal freight and fuel transport patterns, costs, and impacts. The new Alternative Fuel Transportation Optimization tool is designed to analyze the transportation needs and constraints associated with fuel and raw material collection, processing, and distribution in the continental United States. The tool uses a unique multimodal network of roadway, railway, waterway, and pipeline links constructed at Volpe from multiple data sources. This tool is being expanded to help the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and its state and local users to understand optimal routing. Finally and directly related to this conference, Volpe supports the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) to conduct freight analyses required for the Port Performance Freight Statistics Program, mandated by the FAST act. The legislation required BTS to identify the top 25 ports by tonnage, dry bulk tonnage, and 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and to develop an annual report that includes nationally consistent port performance metrics. This task requires the analysis of multimodal data to characterize global and domestic maritime trade. With support from external subject matter experts, a set of nationally consistent metrics was established, and U.S. port performance was measured against these metrics to tell the story of the overall significance of these ports and their critical contributions to the national economy. IN CONCLUSION Fifty years ago, the Eisenhower Interstate highway system was completed, and containerization transformed marine transportation. A historically labor-intensive industry suddenly had an overabundance of labor. Twenty-five years ago, intermodalism was an unfamiliar term, and the impact of global trade was foreign to most people. Cities grew up around ports and rail terminals. The resulting increased urban freight activity severely affects the street networks leading to port and rail terminals. Today, the world is changing even faster, and it is important to have a vision of the future. At its core, intermodalism has always been about fluidity, the seamless movement of people and goods between trains, planes, pipelines, vessels, and vehicles. Thinking about the nationâs modal transportation systems as one system that is part of a global transportation system is critical to lowering overall costs, increasing productivity, increasing safety, reducing congestion, improving mobility, strengthening national security, and reducing energy consumption. This process requires taking a systems perspective, including transportation connections across the border to Canada and Mexico, to ensure a continental system that moves freight in global markets. To make effective decisions, freight practitioners at every level, both public and private sectors, need robust, reliable, and accurate data and information. While we have come a long way over the past decades, we need to continue to improve and invest in advancing the field of freight data and analytics. Across both public and private sectors, we need to
10 continue to work on ways to coordinate and share information appropriately in ways that will benefit the entire freight transportation system, as well as the national economy. It is critical that the public understand the importance of an integrated transportation system to our role in the global economy and be willing to make investments in the infrastructure, particularly in first mile/last mile access. We also need to work together across sectors to send a clear message about why freight data and analytics matter. Outcomes and decisions can be only as good as the information used to produce them. We all benefit from sharing appropriate multimodal freight data that lead to better decision-making and an improved freight system. It is equally important that we continue to work together to leverage the freight information, data, and tools that we have for the sustained betterment of the system with a direct benefit to the everyday lives of the people of this country.