Exploring Short-Sea Shipping as an Alternative to Non-Bulk Freight Trucking in Southeastern, MA

The purpose of this project is to explore whether or not new options for short-sea shipping (i.e., using coastal waterways to transport commercial freight to its destination) could be utilized to ease roadway congestion and reduce emissions associated with the transport of non-bulk freight to Martha’s Vineyard. Under present conditions, coastal areas in southeastern Massachusetts are heavily reliant on trucking for freight distribution, which has a relatively large environmental footprint. Truck freight destined for Martha’s Vineyard, in particular, utilizes roadways with heavy traffic and congested choke points, such as the Cape Cod Canal bridges. The project will review existing waterborne freight practices and capacity in Massachusetts and analyze the feasibility of shifting some of the volume of non-bulk freight from roadways to waterborne modes. This project will estimate the traffic, congestion, and emissions impacts associated with a shift to new waterborne options and provide information on the potential resulting economic and environmental impacts.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $88,640
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Massachusetts, Boston

    85 Devonshire Street
    Boston, MA  United States  02109
  • Principal Investigators:

    Uiterwyk, Kristin

    Wiggin, Jack

    Starbuck, Kim

    Novelly, Allison

  • Start Date: 20200501
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210701
  • Actual Completion Date: 20220901

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01781532
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2021 3:32PM