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Research Project

Maritime Freight Data Collection Systems and Database to Support Performance Measures and Market Analyses

Maritime and domestic water borne traffic

The outcome of this project will help IDOT gain much-needed knowledge of and develop programs to improve Illinois Maritime Transportation System performance, increase multimodal transportation network capacity, and expand the transportation and logistics sector of the state, which ultimately benefit the people and economy of Illinois. A first-of-its-kind PM database for IMTS was designed and developed, along with a detailed user manual, ready for IDOT’s immediate use and future updates.

Principal Investigator
Sriraj, P.S.
Start Date
End Date
Research Area(s)
Data Development
Funding Source
Illinois Department of Transportation


The Illinois Marine Transportation System (IMTS) is a key component of the nation’s inland waterway system. IMTS is comprised of 27 locks and dams, 19 port districts, more than 350 active terminals, and 1,118 miles of navigable inland waterways traversing along the borderline or within the state of Illinois. However, the infrastructure of IMTS is aging and its conditions are deteriorating. To monitor the performance of IMTS and guide infrastructure investment to enhance safety, efficiency, and reliability of the system, a comprehensive performance measurement program is needed. To this end, the objective of this project is to create an integrated, comprehensive, and maintainable database that facilitates performance measurement of maritime freight to, from, and through Illinois. To achieve this objective, a review of the literature on maritime freight transportation both in the United States and abroad was performed. To gauge practitioners’ points of view, a series of phone interviews and online surveys of Illinois’ neighboring state DOT officials, officials from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois port district authorities, and carriers operating in Illinois was also conducted.  Download the "Maritime Freight Data Collection Systems and Database to Support Performance Measures and Market Analyses" report.