The Transportation Institute

The Transportation Institute was established in 1967 as a Washington-based, non-profit organization dedicated to maritime research education and promotion. The Institute companies participate in all phases of the nation’s deep- sea, foreign and domestic shipping trades, and barge and tugboat operations on the Great Lakes and on the 25,000 mile network of America’s inland waterways. These operations embrace a deep-sea passenger vessel, and liquid, dry-bulk, container and special purpose ships. Many member company vessels are contracted to the U.S. military services. All are of U.S. registry — crewed by American citizens operating under the world’s highest safety standards, and proudly flying the American flag. With offices on the East and West coasts, the Transportation Institute supports a wide range of programs that promote the strength of America’s capability.


The goal of the Transportation Institute is to help maintain America’s political and economic strength and national security. The Transportation Institute advocates and works for sound national maritime policy, without which America’s global position would falter. To this end, the Transportation Institute seeks to:

  • Preserve the Jones Act, which reserves domestic waterborne trade for U.S-owned, built, and operated vessels, fostering the maintenance of an efficient domestic waterborne transportation network;
  • Ensure development of US waterborne commerce on the Great Lakes and the continued growth and modernization of America’s inland waterways;
  • Encourage greater participation of U.S. companies in the U.S. cruise trades through promotion of a U.S.-flag passenger fleet;
  • Appeal for equitable environmental laws, balancing the need to protect our national resources with the ability of responsible vessel operators to compete;
  • Improve the tax and regulatory environment in order to enhance the competitiveness of the U.S.-flag fleet in the international arena;
  • Increase visibility of the American-flag fleet in the ports of the world through greater utilization of U.S.-flag ships in the carriage of the nation’s foreign commerce;
  • Enhance close cooperation between the U.S.-flag shipping community and the nation’s military services;
  • Protect U.S.-flag vessels against discriminatory policies and practices of foreign shipping registries; and
  • Guarantee that foreign-flag vessels serving US ports are held to the same safety, drug testing, environmental, and manning standards as U.S.-flag vessels.

A balanced, competitive and efficient waterborne transportation system is indispensable to America’s economy and security. A privately-owned, citizen-crewed merchant fleet, flying the flag of the US in our domestic and foreign commerce, has been the foundation for the success of our nation throughout its history — in peace and war. If the United States is to retain its position as the world’s principal trading nation and its prestige as a superpower, the dramatic decline of its maritime industry must be halted. Steps must be taken to restore American-flag shipping to its rightful place among the world’s leading fleets. For too long, America has taken its maritime strength for granted. For too long, this vital asset has been allowed to shrink to a point where national interest and national security are now threatened. To preserve America’s role as the world’s strongest nation, our leaders must take a stand and develop a maritime policy that ensures a viable, balanced and dependable ocean transportation capability.

The U.S. is the world’s major economic and political power, thus its interests and influence extend to every corner of the globe. The Cold War has ended, but much of the world is still embroiled in conflict, with political and national alliances in constant flux. Against such a backdrop, it is imperative for the US to maintain a strong maritime capability in order to protect its economic and national security interests.

  • James L. Henry: Chairman and President
  • David W. Foster: President, American Steamship Company
  • Thomas B. Crowley, Jr:. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Crowley Maritime Corporation
  • Ronald C. Rasmus: Chairman, Great Lakes Towing Company.
  • Anthony Chiarello: President and Chief Executive Officer, TOTE, Inc.