[QUOTE=ombugge;184957]There are lots of roads and railways from coastal cities like Rotterdam to inland Europe, yet a lot containers and commodities are shipped on self-propelled inland vessels like this: http://www.inlandnavigation.eu/news/innovation/launch-of-first-dutch-lng-refit-inland-container-vessel/
Or Petroleum products on this type: http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/145404/greenstream-peters-shipyards-completes-first-100-lng-powered-product-tanker/
Shell is building 15 more: http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/179780/wartsila-to-power-shells-15-lng-barges/
There are also suitable Short Sea Container Feeders available. Suitale for the East or West coast trade?: http://www.lngworldnews.com/containerships-to-hire-new-shipbuilder-for-lng-powered-vessels/[/QUOTE]
Yes - we understand and have seen all that - from Rotterdam to Basel …
We in the USA have an inland waterway system that probably (I’m not sure) exceeds Europe’s at least in tonnage of cargo shipped. A few poxy inland container boats headed up the Rhine is nothing tonnage-wise compared to a 27 barge tow made up and heading down the Mississippi at Algiers Bend, with another lining up right behind … This is skill and expertise at a level seen only a few places in the world. Wow. Just remember we use the inland towboat and barge system here v. the small inland or short sea boats ships in Europe, and adding up the capacity, we probably smoke all Europe combined. Not bragging - it is just we use a LOT of barges for dry and wet bulk moves already.
As for rail, sure our passenger trains are in the toilet compared to Europe, but our main line freight rail network moves a tonnage Europe can only dream about - containers and bulk.
The bottom line is that US transport needs are currently met (cheaply) with the mix of road / rail / inland barge / coastwise barge that we already use. Fuel costs, road use taxes and tolls are very, very low compared to Europe, our rail systems serve high volume shippers efficiently, and with a credit card and a phone call I can have a truck pull up to load a single pallet for shipment from Maine to California and it gets there in 5 days … 4 days … if I catch the timing right.
Now my sentiments are entirely with you.
But since what really gets done is all about time and the dollar bill, I think it would be pushing a rope to sell water transport where road and rail are doing it efficiently day in and day out already
There’s my opinion, since you asked for it, and it’s based on real life experience.
And what’s this in the [I]Sunnmorsposten[/I] about Olympic getting a six month charter in the GoM?