Winter weather can cause the waters off the coasts of New England states –part of M-95, a crucial marine highway running all the way from Maine to Florida– to be too rough for tugs to safely push or pull cargo-loaded barges. That’s why DOT’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has supported the Maine Port Authority’s development of a next-level cargo vessel designed specifically to handle that unique marine environment.
In addition to increasing safety and reliability for mariners and shippers, the project shows great potential to reduce energy consumption and air emissions while offering relief to cars and trucks on the busy I-95 land-side corridor.
This week, port officials took a major step forward in this effort by releasing a design for the first U.S. containerized articulated tug barge, or “ATB,” made possible with funding from MARAD.
Unlike a tug and barge combination, an ATB is mechanically linked, combining the economics of tug and barge operations with the speed, maneuverability, and heavy weather-reliability of a ship. The vessel proposed by the Maine Port Authority would support the Northeast Marine Highway Expansion Project’s efforts to expand container-on-barge service between Newark, NJ; Boston, MA; and Portland, ME.
Source & Image Credit : US MARAD
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