Partner Projects

MSC Related Partner Project


The MIT Port Resilience team has been working on understanding the capacity constraints that affect the potential resilience of the Maritime Transportation System in the US.  In the course of the work, the team developed a spreadsheet-based tool that addresses some of the key questions:  Where could cargo move to if there were a disruption at a major US port?  What other ports handle the same cargo types as the disrupted port?  How far away are those ports?  Does the US system of ports have enough capacity to handle a disruption to a major US port?  How much additional port capacity is necessary for the US ports to handle a disruption and avoid significant delays and costs to the US economy?
Recently, the team has taken that spreadsheet-based tool and used it as the basis of a web-based application (MIT Port Mapper, a working prototype).  The Port Mapper integrates the some of the cargo allocation analytics with a Google earth mapping tool, and lets a user identify potential destinations for cargo based on cargo SIC classification, location or size.  This makes the analysis available to a broader set of users, and one can imagine policy makers using the application to conduct scenario analysis considering disruptions at any of the 310+ ports in the continental US.  The Port Mapper does not currently have all the analytical functionality as the spreadsheet-based tool yet, and the team is at the point where they need to solicit input from potential users to determine how much of the additional analytics should be built into the web-based application. 

The application can be accessed by visiting:

For a pdf of a recent Port Mapper review, please visit this site.
The research team would like to speak with any potential users to get their input on key features and analytics that should be built into the next iteration of the Port Mapper.  If useful, the team would be glad to give a real-time walk-through of the tool and also the application for any interested parties.  Please visit the application site or contact Jim Rice at j[email protected] or 617.258.8584.
Jim Rice
Kai Trepte
Matt Mattingley