Mayors representing the Mississippi River Cities & Town Initiative have announced a significant advance in its effort to start a container-on-barge shipping program on the River, during the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals 2014 Annual Conference. The program headquarters is leaving Washington, DC and relocating in St. Louis.
Among the mayors in attendance at the Tuesday afternoon announcement in St. Louis were Alton’s Brant Walker, Hartford Mayor James Spann, and Grafton’s Tom Thompson. Walker says we are at the start of what could be an exciting new era for river industry.
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Container-on-barge shipping is a common way to distribute goods in other parts of the world, including Europe and China, and supporters say it will create significant efficiencies in the transportation of goods and services and relieve freight bottlenecks on the River. According to the Department of Transportation, these traffic jams cost the American economy $200 billion annually.