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  Navigation Economic Technologies Program



For more than a century the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has played a key role in keeping the nation’s economy moving by ensuring that farmers, manufacturers and businesses can easily transport goods up and down our nation’s rivers and out to sea via coastal ports.

As our nation’s economy grows increasingly larger and more complex, though, the Corps navigation program faces a significant challenge. To ensure that our nation’s navigation system remains as efficient, effective and affordable as possible, we must:

  • Enhance operational efficiency to improve utilization; and
  • Upgrade infrastructure to increase system capacity.

The goal of the Navigation Economic Technologies (NETS) program is to develop a standardized and defensible knowledge base and a suite of economic tools for addressing these issues.

Improving System Utilization


NETS research activities are examining a variety of proposed solutions to ease congestion on our nation’s waterways by enabling vessels to move more quickly and efficiently through locks and dams including:

  • Congestion fees;
  • Scheduling;
  • Tradable locking permits;
  • Lockage efficiency measures; and
  • Locking policies.

Increasing System Capacity


NETS research efforts also are targeted at developing better tools and techniques for determining the economic impact of new capital investments. Key focus areas include:

  • Analyzing shipper behavior and responses, particularly decisions to switch to non-water modes of transportation.
  • Assessing global market conditions, including the impact of international competition and commodity flows.

Learn more about the approaches the NETS team is taking to these issues. Join us at our symposium to learn more about the latest issues being addressed by the NETS program.


Reviewed 20 June 2016

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