Title: An initial exploration of port capacity bottlenecks in the USA port system and the implications on resilience

Authors: Kai Trepte; James B. Rice Jr.

Addresses: Center for Transportation and Logistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1 Amherst Street, E40-281, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA ' Center for Transportation and Logistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1 Amherst Street, E40-281, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Abstract: Ports are clearly important to the national and global economies. Several high profile events highlight the need not only to harden ports but to decrease recovery times when failures do occur to increase the resilience of the system as a whole. Our research suggests that disruptions occur with regular frequency and, with outliers removed, range from 6 to 20 days in duration. Furthermore, we find key commodity classes, such as chemicals and food and farm products may be especially sensitive to those disruptions due to geographic cargo concentrations. While the US port system is capable of supporting current cargo volumes, it is sensitive to adverse events, leading us to conclude that stakeholders must place renewed focus on resilience in order to reduce economic impacts when major port disruptions occur. The port resilience research has been generously supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the National Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR) at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.

Keywords: port resilience; maritime transport; port operations; port capacity; port disruptions; capacity bottlenecks; USA; United States; geographic concentrations; cargo concentrations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2014.060800

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2014 Vol.6 No.3, pp.339 - 355

Available online: 28 Apr 2014 *

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