â€œIf youâ€™re driving or commuting anywhere around the city, you know what Iâ€™m talking about,â€ said Mike Stamatis, president of the Red Hook Container Terminal, which operates a cross-harbor container-on-barge service between Port Newark, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y.
Marad, the Port Authority of NY/NJ and city officials promote the use of COB services as a way to eliminate some truck traffic and lessen air emissions in the region.
â€œI think there are a number of places in America that can benefit by saying, â€˜Hey weâ€™re going to take some of these trucks off the road,â€ said Derek Veenhof, executive vice president for asset management with Covanta, a waste-to-energy company that has a longstanding municipal waste contract with New York City.
City officials set reducing truck traffic a goal of their solid waste plan, not looking simply for the lowest-cost transport solution, said Veenhof. That commitment removed one barrier to the concept for moving containerized trash by barge for Covantoâ€™s generation plants.
â€œOnce you have that, the private sector will answer the call and say, â€˜We can help you do that,â€™â€ he said.
Using short sea transport to redevelop small farming in Connecticut is the business plan for Harbor Harvest, based in Norwalk, Conn. Owner Robert Kunkel is having a 62â€™x21â€™ Incat Crowther designed, hybrid power aluminum catamaran built at Derecktor Shipyard/Robert E. Derecktor Inc., Mamaroneck, N.Y., to carry local produce across Long Island Sound.
â€œThereâ€™s $9 billion worth of produce between the mid-Hudson Valley and Connecticut,â€ but now coming from family farms â€œthat canâ€™t make more than $50,000 a year,â€ said Kunkel.
Using boats to serve the affluent Long Island market could mean an upstate farmer who gets $2 a dozen for his organic eggs locally might sell across the Sound for $6, carried on the 15-mile maritime route, he said.
That will eliminate the cost and delay of truck transport. Kunkel said he was under the impression a round trip from farm county to the city or Long Island was six hours â€“ until truckers told him the time has now expanded to nine to 12 hours.
â€œThey donâ€™t want to do it,â€ he said. â€œThey canâ€™t make money.â€