Transportation Institute: Working to Ensure a Strong U.S.-flag Merchant Marine

Maintaining America’s political strength, economic power, and national security in the maritime industry

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, Transportation Institute supports a wide range of programs that promote the strength of America’s capability.

Transportation Institute plays a prominent role in national forums, seminars, and public policy meetings where questions of maritime policy are under debate.


The goal of Transportation Institute is to help maintain America’s political and economic strength and national security. Transportation Institute advocates and works for sound national maritime policy, without which America’s global position would falter. To this end, 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 U.S. 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 U.S. ports are held to the same safety, drug testing, environmental, and manning standards as U.S.-flag vessels.

Board of Directors