Maritime Administration Issues Report on Modal Shift

Oil Prices May Encorage Shift to Water, Rail

Oil prices have fluctuated dramatically over the past six months, and were recently more than twice what they were five years ago. In order to understand the impact of oil prices on transportation markets and their logistics chains, the Maritime Administration sponsored a study that reviewed U.S. and international forecasts of potential oil prices and assessed how higher fuel prices would affect different modes of transportation.

The study found that the more fuel-efficient modes, such as water and rail, are less affected by rises in oil prices than trucking, particularly over long distances. The study also provides separate analyses of major freight corridors, and looks at the potential for increased use of Great Lakes, Mississippi River, and coastal services.

The study is available on the Maritime Administration web site,

Contact: Janice Weaver (202)-366-4468

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