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Webinar Overview

ITS ePrimer Webinar: Port Operations

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - Joint Program Office (JPO) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) invite you to an upcoming webinar on ITS applications and systems at Port Facilities.

Date: Thursday, May 2, 2019
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT
Cost: All T3 webinars are free of charge.
PDH: 1.5 View PDH Policy

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

ITS PCB webinars are brought to you by the ITS PCB Program of the U.S. DOT’s ITS JPO. References in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. DOT.


The ITS ePrimer provides transportation professionals with fundamental concepts and practices related to ITS technologies. This online resource can help practicing professionals and students better understand how ITS is integrated into the planning, design, deployment, and operations of surface transportation systems. The ITS ePrimer is both a stand-alone reference document for the practitioner as well as a text for education and training programs. The ePrimer module that will be summarized during this webinar will be the 15th module.

This webinar will provide an overview of ITS related to port operations. The presentations will examine key elements involved in planning, evaluating, financing, and deploying ITS projects that can address congestion and other transportation network challenges experienced by ports.

This is the second of a two-part spring webinar series cooperatively developed by MARAD and the AAPA that focuses on ITS as a tool to integrate efficiency into freight and port projects, provide a sharper understanding of advocacy positions and collaborating opportunities during the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act reauthorization process, as well as unveil the ITS Module of the Port Planning and Investment Toolkit and ITS ePrimer.


  • Overview of MARAD ITS activities.
  • Summary of ITS module of Port Planning and Investment Toolkit.
  • Presentation of Port Operations ITS ePrimer module.
  • Highlight of ITS applications by Port of New York/New Jersey.
  • Highlight of ITS applications by Virginia Port Authority.
  • Respond to questions and comments from the audience.

Target Audience

The target audience for this webinar will include:

  • Port/Terminal Administrators.
  • State and local governments
  • Regional and municipal planners.
  • Private sector entities with operational interest in port management, including enhanced security.
  • Freight handling organizations.


Kirk Claussen, Office of Ports & Waterways, Port Finance Agent, U.S. DOT, Maritime Administration (MARAD), Washington, D.C.
Kirk Claussen Mr. Claussen provides guidance to ports on infrastructure investment, specializing in transportation planning and funding strategies, including the provision of project finance techniques and innovative financing structures for comprehensive project delivery programs. He is active across various agencies, given the intermodal nature of maritime ports. Kirk also works with the Build America Bureau and serves as maritime liaison on behalf of project sponsors. In this capacity, he guides sponsors and partners through the project planning phase to assist in strategies to attract private investors, improve access to Federal credit programs, and streamline the process for meeting Federal policy requirements.

Jean Godwin, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Washington, D.C.
Jean Godwin Jean C. Godwin is the General Counsel of the American Association of Port Authorities, a trade association founded in 1912 that represents the interests of public port agencies in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin and South America, and the Caribbean. Before joining AAPA in 1990, Ms. Godwin was the Director of Business Development for Export Network, Inc. in Bethesda, MD. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Chief Counsel for Competition Policy for the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, specializing in transportation and trade issues.


Theodore Smith, Assistant Vice President, Program Director, Transportation Management Centers, WSP USA
Theodore Smith Theodore Smith is an Assistant Vice President and Senior Manager at WSP specializing in advanced transportation technologies and operations. He has 27 years of experience managing U.S. and international transportation planning, engineering, and research projects with a focus on state and local policy, technology development, deployment and assessment, including intelligent transportation systems (ITS), connected and automated vehicles (CAV), transit operations and transportation systems management and operations (TSM&O) programs.

Tom Ward, Assistant Vice President, Director of Maritime Planning, WSP USA
Tom Ward Tom Ward has over 35 years of experience in multi-modal freight planning and operations analysis for major maritime and intermodal logistics/transportation projects, including conventional, semi-automated, and fully automated terminals. In addition to container terminal projects, Tom has led the planning, design and/or development of break bulk, dry bulk, project cargo, roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO), and auto terminals. Prior to joining WSP in 2014, Mr. Ward served as Chief Engineer for Ports America. Mr. Ward has an international reputation in the fields of marine terminal productivity, operational capacity, terminal technology, and key performance measurements.

Bethann Rooney, Deputy Director, Port Department, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Bethann Rooney Bethann Rooney oversees overall operations of the New York and New Jersey port facilities. Ms. Rooney previously served as Assistant Director responsible for overseeing policy, planning, legislative and regulatory affairs, environmental sustainability, performance, and efficiency matters. She has been the architect and coordinator of the Port’s Council on Port Performance (CPP), the first forum of its kind in the nation that was established as a framework for port constituents to identify challenges to port efficiency and service reliability and develop recommended solutions.

Mark Thorsen, Vice President Technology/Chief Information Officer, The Virginia Port Authority (VPA)
Mr. Mark Thorsen is responsible for all IT and systems in the port as well as all the terminals. Mark manages a team of more than 40 professionals that is also augmented with a number of industry specialist contractors. The VPA IT team is widely regarded as one of the best in the container terminal industry. He has more than 30 years of experience.

Mark Higgins, Director of Motor Carrier Experience, Port of Virginia
Mr. Mark Higgins has 15 years of experience and held numerous roles related to the implementation of high technology to container terminal gate operations. Mark was a key contributor to the original Virginia International Gateway (VIG) project. He went on to implement a new high technology gate at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) while maintaining high levels of functionality to the truckers using the site. He then became the project manager for the new $42 million NIT North Gate project, which is about to open in late June 2017. Mark has been a major contributor to the development of the truck reservation systems (TRS) platform that was first deployed in New York and that is now being deployed at VIG and NIT. Mark is a recognized leader in gate technology and TRSs.

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For inquiries regarding the ITS PCB Program, please contact the USDOT Point of Contact below.
J.D. Schneeberger
Program Manager, Knowledge and Technology Transfer

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