GSL believes that use of the AMH and our existing port networks are of paramount importance to the United States’ ability to: grow, prosper, increase our domestic and import and export production, and finally to maintain the integrity of our trading access to international markets as well as our coastal homeland security.
Therefore one of GSL’s primary goals is to raise private business and public awareness of the existence of the American Marine Highway and the transportation opportunities it offers. The most obvious attribute of the AMH is its ability to transport goods via water thereby relieving the growing strain on our crumbling, capacity constrained surface transportation system of interstate highways and bridges.
GSL has adopted the company motto:
to articulate its vision. The tree represents the sustainability of green waterborne transportation.
We believe this clear simple statement of the obvious will engender public awareness and the much-needed public debate of the importance of the AMH and our ports to America’s transportation infrastructure and our future productivity as well as protection of our environment. Saving our roads by using our ports is a clear, yet simple articulation of a complex national issue that the public can easily grasp and rally around.
To date no statement better describes what coastal and river shipping will mean for the country’s transportation future. Water was the transportation thoroughfare of choice until 1956 and water determined the pattern of the United States development from inception. Use of our extensive systems will ultimately save our country’s roads and bridges and give the country the much needed transportation thoroughfares for future expansion at literally no capital costs. We came from the water, used the water to grow and prosper, and now we must revitalize the limitless capacity of our existing water systems, which costs nothing to create, little to maintain, and most importantly provides economical, fuel efficient “Green” transportation at a time in our history when the country needs new ideas and green infrastructure the most!
It should be noted that use of the AMH will not eliminate trucks from our roads, but will change the pattern of truck usage. Truckers are GSL’s most important allies because they bring cargo to and from ports. Literally, trucks are the critical first and last mile of any port based transportation system.
Finally, if we do not control trade along our coasts in the future, especially with the widening of the Panama Canal and the advantages of the new super container ships, then the United States will abdicate our future homeland security and forfeit our trading independence.
Transportation has been an important public policy matter since Thomas Jefferson wrote the first transportation bill in the early 1800s. Roads and bridges are part of the public domain, their creation and upkeep is a government responsibility. State elected officials need to be made aware of the attributes of the AMH and how each state can take advantage of their existing ports and the value of state ports and engage the population in an ongoing transportation debate. The disrepair of our infrastructure is a growing concern for every citizen, especially those who experience daily gridlock.