In spite of a rising volume of freight in the US, the domestic water freight volume has been witnessing a decline of over 2% during the period 2006-2011 to just over 500 billion ton-miles. The share of total freight hauled by domestic water vessels will continue to shrink in the face of competition from trucks, rail and intermodal (rail/truck) transport. During the recession, sluggish manufacturing production and slow retail spending reduced the demand for freight transportation even further.
However, industry conditions will improve as the economy stabilizes and demand for freight services increases. Furthermore, recovering consumer confidence and increased spending will support growth in freight volumes, boosting industry demand. There are approximately 12,000 miles of navigable inland waterways used by the domestic shipping trades in the United States, not including the Great Lakes. The addition of those waterways would double the figure. US ports and waterways handle more than 2 billion tons of domestic and import/export cargo annually. By 2020, the total volume of cargo shipped by water is expected to be double that of 2001 volumes.
Most freight consists of dry bulk cargo and is carried aboard barges known as hoppers. This includes grain, coal, and chemicals. Much of total domestic production of basic commodities and finished products is shipped by water, including apples, wastepaper, corn, lumber, iron ore, steel, scrap steel, potatoes, phosphate, plastics, film, machinery, and modular homes. About two-thirds of all US wheat and wheat flour, one-third of soybean and rice production and almost two-fifths of US cotton production is exported via US ports. US produced coal, grain and forest products also compete well in international markets because of our efficient transportation system.
Merchant ships have become increasingly more specialized, especially during the last half of the twentieth century. Special ships were designed to carry bulk cement, coal, iron ore, liquefied natural gas, wood chips and pulp, refrigerated foods, and heavy equipment. With consumers increasing their spending as the economy recovers, and manufacturers likewise boosting their production, demand for inland water transportation will get a boost.
Aruvians Rsearch analyzes the domestic water shipping market in the US with regards to freight in its research offering Analyzing Domestic Water Shipping in the US. The report is a complete analysis of the industry through the leading segments of freight moved through coastal shipping, through internal waterway shipping, and through the Great Lakes and other waterways in the US.
The report analyzes the US market for freight moved through domestic water shipping through an industry overview, an analysis of the market demand, as well as an analysis of the market by different types of domestic water shipping systems.
Industry trends across different types of segments are analyzed, followed by an analysis of the industry structure. Regulatory framework governing the industry is also looked at.
The industry's future perspective is looked at through a segment-wise market forecast as well as an industry outlook.
An analysis of the major market players such as Ingram Industries, Kirby Corporation, SEACOR Holdings, and others is carried out through a corporate profile, business segment analysis, financial analysis, industry presence, and a SWOT analysis, completing this comprehensive analysis of the Domestic Water Shipping in the US.