Optimal Design of Inland Waterway System to Enhance Intermodal Transportation

Inland waterway use for freight transport presents significant environmental benefits compared to other transportation modes, contributing to sustainability, and reduced ecological impact. Despite the United States' well-developed inland waterways system, a significant portion remains underutilized. This proposal aims to address the challenges hindering the full potential of inland waterway freight transport and realize its environmental advantages. The research approach involves a combination of in-depth interviews and surveys to comprehensively explore the barriers to adoption and collaboration strategies that can lead to prioritized investments in infrastructure, enhanced intermodal connectivity, and awareness about the environmental benefits and long-term sustainability of water transportation. The recruitment of participants will be achieved through a two-fold strategy. Firstly, online outreach and professional networks will be leveraged to engage relevant stakeholders, including professionals from shippers, manufacturing, supply chain, and government agencies. Secondly, a snowball sampling and referral approach will be implemented, starting with initial participants who will refer other colleagues and contacts within their networks, thereby expanding the participant pool and accessing diverse perspectives. The expected deliverables include a comprehensive literature review on inland waterway freight transport, identifying trends, innovations, and challenges in the field. A final synthesis report will present the research findings, including methodology, results, and recommendations for policymakers, stakeholders, and industry players. A white paper will summarize the research outcomes in accessible language for the general public, highlighting the environmental benefits and the potential positive impacts of waterway transportation on local communities and the economy.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $179976
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Mid-America Transportation Center

      University of Nebraska-Lincoln
      2200 Vine Street, PO Box 830851
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68583-0851
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Missouri, St. Louis

      1 University Boulevard
      St. Louis, MO  United States  63121-4400
    • Principal Investigators:

      Encarnacion, Trilce

      Li, Haitao

      Enayati, Shakiba

      Bracy, Jill

    • Start Date: 20230601
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01908397
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348307
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Feb 19 2024 6:12PM