This report serves as an assessment of port sustainability and its potential applications for the inland river ports of Kentucky and the surrounding region. The report discusses and defines sustainability, both generally as it relates to business and industry and specifically as it relates to the port industry. Given the unique nature of the inland port industry, the report reviews lessons learned from 11 port site visits conducted by Kentucky Transportation Center in 2012, primarily at major U.S. coastal ports but also representative inland ports. KTC’s analysis identifies the sustainability challenges facing various domestic and international ports, and what policy and operating initiatives are being undertaken to meet these challenges.

This report then discusses KTC’s progress in tailoring the sustainability process identified during these visits to the inland port industry. Field visits to 13 public ports along the Ohio River were conducted in order to develop a sustainability self‐assessment tool, which took the lessons learned at coastal ports and large‐scale inland ports and applied them to the inland ports of Kentucky and the surrounding region. From these visits and the associated research, an audit template has been developed that allows inland port operators to assess and improve sustainability levels. The wealth of information compiled in this report, along with the associated appendices, will prove invaluable to the inland port industry. The research relayed to the industry has already proven to be a boon to the ports that participated in the project. The preliminary results indicate that ports along the region’s inland waterways would have little difficulty improving their sustainability profiles at low expense, so long as they follow the advice laid out by this report and the audit template.

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© 2014 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

Information may not be used, reproduced, or republished without our written consent.

Prepared for: Multimodal Transportation & Infrastructure Consortium by the Kentucky Transportation Center

The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the information presented herein. This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers Program, in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the contents or use thereof.