Rivers of Data – Inland Electronic Navigation Charts

Nautical charts provide critical information to mariners in support of safe navigation. Historically these charts have been printed and distributed on paper, but modern communications systems allow for electronic charts that are able to be updated as new information becomes available. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey produces charts for coastal and Great Lakes areas, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers produces charts for America’s inland rivers through the Inland Electronic Navigation Chart program. The Inland Electronic Navigation Chart (IENC) program covers thousands of miles of navigable waterways. America’s inland waterways move millions of tons of commodities every year, and the work of surveying, charting, and dredging sediment is continually ongoing due to the dynamic conditions and constant change happening along any given river.

Rivers included in the Inland Electronic Navigation Chart (IENC) program include the Allegheny River, Arkansas River, Atchafalaya River, Black Warrior-Tombigbee Rivers, Cumberland River, Green River, Illinois River, Kaskaskia, Kanawha River, Lower Mississippi River, Missouri River, Monongahela River, Ohio River, Ouachita River, Red River, Tennessee River (including the Tellico, Hiwassee, Clinch and Emory Rivers), Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Upper Mississippi River, and the White River. Anyone can access the navigation charts for these rivers, which show depth contours, buoys, lights, known hazards, and reference landmarks.

References and Data.Gov Links:

Inland Electronic Navigational Charts (IENC), https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/inland-electronic-navigational-charts-ienc

USACE Inland Electronic Navigation Charts Homepage, http://ienccloud.us/

NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC), https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/noaa-electronic-navigational-charts-enc7cce5

NOAA Raster Navigational Charts (RNC), https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/noaa-raster-navigational-charts-rnc7af22

Clean Air Practices at Ports – EPA Interactive Map

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ports Initiative works in collaboration with the port industry, communities, and all levels of government to improve environmental performance and increase economic prosperity. This effort helps people living and working near ports across the country breathe cleaner air and live better lives. The Ports Initiative recently release an interactive map highlighting clear air practices at some of the largest ports around the United States.

The interactive map can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/ports-initiative/best-port-wide-planning-practices-improve-air-quality#clean-air

The Ports Initiative website also includes information on methods for performing an emissions inventory, a toolkit to assist community and port collaboration efforts, information on funding opportunities, and other technical resources.

Visit the Ports Initiative main page at: https://www.epa.gov/ports-initiative
Contact the Ports Initiative at: talkaboutports@epa.gov

2019 Port Performance Data from the U.S. DOT

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Port Performance Freight Statistics Program: Annual Reports to Congress provide summary statistics and detailed analysis for the Nation’s largest container, tonnage, and dry bulk ports. Results from calendar year 2019 are now available online.
Individual port statistics can be viewed through the “Port Profile” link on the main Port Performance website at: https://www.bts.gov/ports.
Historic reports from multiple years are available from the National Transportation Library at https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/welcome
These are great resources for anyone interested in port activity, port performance, maritime topics, or transportation infrastructure in general.

By the numbers: port statistics for some of the largest U.S. ports

As intermodal connectors for domestic and international freight, our nation’s ports serve a critical role in numerous supply chains and the national economy. In recognition of this importance, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94; Dec. 4, 2015; 129 Stat. 1312) established a Port Performance Freight Statistics Program within the U.S. Department of Transportation: Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The first annual Port Performance Freight Statistics Program report provides descriptive statistics for a group of ports for year 2016, including the top 25 ports in terms of total tonnage, twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), and dry bulk tonnage. The report is available to download at https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/PPFS_Annual_Report.pdf

The 2016 Port Performance report used multiple sources, including public datasets featured on Data.Gov. One foundational dataset used in the report is the total commercial tonnage carried on waterways published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center.

Link to dataset: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/total-tonnage-foreign-and-domestic-of-commodites-carried-on-commercial-waterways .

Example of cargo movement through a dry bulk cargo port terminal
            Typical infrastructure and cargo flow at a port terminal handling dry bulk cargo, such as coal.

Harvesting Grain Data

Author: Marin Kress, Research Scientist, Engineer Research and Development Center, USACE

This Grain Transportation Report: Rail Deliveries to Port dataset from the USDA provides the total number of rail carloads used in weekly grain shipments traveling to ports in five different regions of the country starting in 1994.  The five regions are Atlantic, East Gulf, Mississippi River, Texas Gulf, and Pacific.  In 2008 the dataset started recording cross border rail shipments in to Mexico.  Included with each record is start-of-week date, end-of-week date, and number week of year (1-52).  For users interested in learning about intermodal freight flows, agricultural exports, and how the marine transportation system supports American farmers this dataset is a great resource.

A glossary of terms used in the file is available from USDA at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/GTRGlossaryofTerms.pdf

View Dataset link:  http://catalog.data.gov/dataset/grain-transportation-report-table-3

Reference: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/transportation-analysis/gtr