Posts Tagged ‘Ports’


NOAA Provides Environmental Intelligence to Keep Goods Moving Along Our Marine Highways

May 14, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

A cargo ship loaded with storage containers navigates through a port. NOAA tools —such as nautical charts, accurate positioning services, and ocean and weather observations—play a key role in ensuring that shipments move swiftly and safely along our marine highways.

NOAA tools —such as nautical charts, accurate positioning services, and ocean and weather observations—play a key role in ensuring that shipments move swiftly and safely along our marine highways.

By weight, 75 percent of U.S. international trade moves through the nation’s ports and harbors. Those ports support, directly and indirectly, more than 13 million American jobs.

NOAA provides environmental intelligence to support safe, efficient, and environmentally sound navigation through U.S. ports. NOAA produces the nation’s nautical charts, which provide essential navigation information such as water depths; locations of dangers to navigation; locations and characteristics of aids to navigation; anchorages; and other features.

NOAA also integrates ocean and coastal observations, data, science, and services to provide actionable information, thereby improving informed choices. Good decisions today protect lives and property tomorrow.

The agency monitors, assesses, and distributes tide, current, and water level products and services. Positioning information from NOAA provides a highly accurate, precise, and consistent  framework to help mariners safely navigate around obstructions in our nation’s busy waterways.

NOAA’s role warning coastal areas of hurricane threats is well known, but the agency also plays a significant role after the storm. NOAA moves quickly to help reopen ports. Navigation response teams survey ports and channels, searching for submerged debris and other dangers to navigation. NOAA aerial photography helps the public, decision makers, and insurance adjusters assess the extent of storm damage.

In addition, NOAA’s Physical Oceanographic Real-time System (PORTS®) provides accurate real-time oceanographic information, tailored to the specific needs of local maritime communities. Knowledge of the currents, water levels, winds, and density of the water can increase the amount of cargo moved through a port and harbor by enabling mariners to safely utilize every inch of dredged channel depth. For example, an economic study showed that the Tampa Bay economy receives more than $7 million a year in savings and direct income from PORTS®. A second study calculated $16 million a year in savings for the Houston-Galveston region.

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Exploring 4,600 Miles of Opportunities

February 29, 2012

Marsha McDaniel is a Commercial Officer in the Mumbai, India office of the Commercial Service.

Led by the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez, the first-ever Ports and Maritime Technology Trade Mission to India introduced twelve U.S. companies to the entire maritime territory of India, spanning from Kolkata in the east, to Chennai in the south, and ending in Ahmedabad and Mumbai in the west.

Under Secretary Sanchez and Commercial Service staff with the Trade Mission delegates

Under Secretary Sanchez and Commercial Service staff with the Trade Mission delegates

India, with its vast coastline of 4,600 miles, offers abundant opportunities for U.S. ports and maritime technology companies.  During their visit the trade mission delegates traveled nearly 2,000 miles within India and they participated in more than 200 customized business meetings.

The participating organizations included two premier U.S. seaports – the Port of Baltimore and the Port of San Diego – as well as ten leading U.S. companies that provide port technologies including dredging, port security, and logistics.

Starting in Kolkata on February 17th seven participating companies visited the eastern region of India to explore commercial opportunities at the Haldia Port.  This was the first major U.S. trade mission to visit Kolkata since 2008, and the delegates were warmly received by the local business community and the Commercial Service Kolkata team.

The official trade mission kicked-off in Chennai on Monday February 20, where Under Secretary Sánchez, Commercial Service India’s Minister Counselor Judy Reinke and the Commercial Service Chennai team welcomed the full delegation of twelve companies.  Also participating in the mission were representatives from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

While in Chennai the Under Secretary and the delegates met with India’s Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan, and participated in matchmaking sessions organized by local business chambers.

The second stop for mission participants was Ahmedabad, selected for its location in the state of Gujarat, which has emerged as a major maritime hub for India.  In Gujarat one of the trade mission delegates – the Port of Baltimore – signed a sister-port MOU with the Ahmedabad-based Adani Group .

The Commercial Service Ahmedabad team orchestrated a series of meetings for the delegates with various Gujarati ports while the Under Secretary participated in government meetings with state officials.  Under Secretary Sánchez ended his trip to Ahmedabad with a visit to the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University where he engaged in a lively discussion with nearly 200 students.

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, was the final stop of the mission.  On February 23rd the delegates participated in a busy day of customized business meetings with potential Indian partners.  While in Mumbai Under Secretary Sánchez participated in a SelectUSA event with leading Indian IT companies and he later inaugurated the new Commercial Service Trade Center at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai.

Trade Mission delegates visit Mumbai’s JNTP Port

Trade Mission delegates visit Mumbai’s JNTP Port

The mission participants received a special access comprehensive tour of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNTP), thanks to the efforts of the Commercial Service teams in New Delhi and Mumbai. During the tour, delegates had an intimate meeting with the JNTP Port Chairman during which they discussed specific commercial opportunities related to dredging and port security.

The delegates completed the mission feeling optimistic about the commercial opportunities in this sector.  The companies realize that doing business in India is a long-term proposition and this will be the first of hopefully many visits to India that the companies will make.  The Commercial Service team in India is standing by to assist U.S. firms create lasting partnerships that will help bring American port and maritime technology solutions to India.

This mission was the first of several infrastructure-related events that will take place in India this year.  The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson, will lead an infrastructure trade mission to New Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai during March 25-30.


Port of Baltimore Partners With India’s Mundra Port To Expand Exports, Trade

February 23, 2012

David McCormack is an International Trade Specialist in the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service.  Russell Adise is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Service Industries.

On February 22, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez witnessed the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between two major world ports – the U.S.’ Port of Baltimore and India’s Mundra Port – that will facilitate maritime cooperation, exports and trade flows between the U.S. and India.

The two-way trade between India and the U.S. grew to $58 billion in 2011, and this upward trend is expected to continue in 2012.  This MOU is a perfect example of the U.S. and India working together to meet India’s infrastructure needs while supporting American jobs.

Sister port MoU signed between the Port of Baltimore and the Adani Group’s Mundra Port. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez witnessed the signing of the MoU in Ahmedabad. (photo American Center Mumbai)

Sister port MoU signed between the Port of Baltimore and the Adani Group’s Mundra Port. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez witnessed the signing of the MoU in Ahmedabad. (photo American Center Mumbai)

For U.S. seaports, sister port partnerships are an important tool for expanding their trade links, trade routes, port marketing, and infrastructure development activities throughout the world.  The Port of Baltimore’s new agreement with Mundra Port follows similar agreements with ports in Taiwan, Poland, China, Russia, Italy, Ghana, Egypt, The Netherlands, and France, illustrating Baltimore’s importance as an international trade port.

U.S. seaports are a critical conduit for U.S. exports.  More than $455 billion in exports flowed through America’s sea ports in 2010.  Ocean transport carries more U.S. international merchandise than air cargo, trucks, railroads, and pipelines combined.  More than 75 percent of U.S. merchandise trade by volume – and more than 36 percent by value – leaves the United States by water, making U.S. seaports a critical component of our national and global economy.

In addition to their participation in the Trade Mission, U.S. seaports such as Baltimore are also partners in an important ITA initiative aimed at meeting the President’s NEI goals.  In July 2011, Under Secretary Sánchez traveled to the Port of Oakland to launch the Partnership with America’s Seaports to Further the National Export Initiative.  This partnership between ITA and the American Association of Port Authorities is helping U.S. seaports to leverage federal and local resources to help small and medium-sized firms to achieve export sales.

Under Secretary Sánchez is in Ahmedabad for the second stop of the Department’s first-ever Ports and Maritime Technology Industry Trade Mission to India.  This Trade Mission is furthering President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) by raising the profile of the U.S.’ world-leading ports and maritime technology sector among Indian commercial counterparts.
The trade mission participants include dredging companies, port security companies, scanning technology providers, and transportation and logistics companies.  The Port of Baltimore is one of twelve U.S. private sector and municipal organizations participating in the trade mission, which will conclude in Mumbai on February 24.

The Trade Mission is the first in a series of events planned for 2012 that are designed to expand U.S. export opportunities within India’s infrastructure sectors.  In particular, Commerce Secretary John Bryson will lead a high-level trade mission to Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai on March 25-30.  It will be Bryson’s first trade mission as Commerce Secretary.

For more information on the Trade Mission, please contact Trade Specialist David McCormack at, (202) 482-2833.

Additional information on the Trade Mission can be found on the India Ports Trade Mission’s website.

For more information on the ITA-AAPA Partnership With America’s Seaports to Further the National Export Initiative, please visit the Partnership’s website or contact Trade Specialist Russell Adise at, (202) 482-5086.