The shipping industry in the United States operates through different divisions. Foreign and domestic are the two principal divisions of the US shipping industry.
Domestic shipping industry of United States is further divided into inland and coastwise. The coastwise traffic, on the other hand, is comprised of Great Lakes, strictly coastwise, and intercoastal. The shipping activities of the United States crucially depend on the economic, political, social, and many other natural conditions of the country.
The coastwise trade is very popular in the United States. All domestic ports of the United States are linked through the coastwise trade. It also involves shipping between continental US and Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.
Domain of US Shipping Industry: An Overview:
The shipping industry of the United States performs multiple functions. Shipbuilding, vessel operations, shipping, port operations, and the like come under the purview of US shipping industry. As an agency of the US Department of Transportation, the Maritime Administration also takes care of the merchant marine, vessels, ships, and commercial mariners.
More on the Maritime Administration:
The US Maritime Administration possesses a fleet of cargo ships. These ships are parts of the NDRF (National Defense Reserve Fleet). Maritime Administration is also in charge of maintaining those ships. The Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement program and the Maritime Security Program also come under the domain of the Maritime Administration of US. It also provides the US shipping industry with the necessary technical support and loan guarantees for maintaining the shipyards and carrying out shipbuilding. The shippers get immense help from Maritime Administration of the United States in the form of technical knowledge, determination of transportation rates and so on.