Press Release

ISA Receives Award for Leadership, Innovation in Transport Initiatives

June 18, 2015



ISA Receives Award for Leadership, Innovation in Transport Initiatives


BLOOMINGTON, ILL.—June 18, 2015— The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) was recognized June 16 by the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) for its efforts in helping lead inland waterway transportation innovation.


The America's Marine Highway Leadership Award recognizes ISA's role in a collaborative effort to develop a new river freight service between Chicago and Minneapolis to New Orleans.  This "container-on-vessel" initiative leverages the use of empty shipping containers on river barges to export agricultural commodities, including soybeans.


The award was presented to ISA District 15 Director Daryl Cates by Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen, Sr., during the Inland Marine Expo in St. Louis, Mo.  The expo is an annual trade show for the inland and intercoastal marine transportation industry.


"We are honored to receive this recognition from the Maritime Administration," says Scott Sigman, ISA transportation and export infrastructure lead.  "Not only does it present a great opportunity to highlight the importance of the inland waterway system, it speaks to the level of investment and support ISA directors put behind this transportation initiative the last two years."  


ISA works on the container-on-vessel initiative alongside public and private stakeholders, including Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals, Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, St. Louis Port District, America's Central Port at Granite City and Ingram Barge Company, all of whom were recognized during the award ceremony.


"We greatly appreciate the acknowledgement from the Maritime Administration for the efforts of these organizations on the container-on-vessel project," says Chuck Arnold, vice president, business and strategic development, Ingram Barge Company.  "Ingram Barge fully supports farmers and the soybean growers of Illinois.  Intermodal river transportation is one more way we can help the agriculture industry."


The container-on-vessel initiative previously was recognized as an M-55/M-35 Marine Highway Project by Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  The designation recognizes initiatives that make waterborne routes seamless extensions of America's transportation system.


With between 40 and 44 percent of Illinois soybeans slated for annual export, ISA invests checkoff funds pursuing sustainable, economical and efficient transport on the state's 1,100 miles of navigable waterways.  A container-on-vessel, or container-on-barge, circuit could provide a cost effective and more environmentally favorable option for moving soybeans, while leveraging backhaul shipping containers, many of which might otherwise return empty to Asian markets.


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts.  The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education.  Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.  For more information, visit the website




For more information, contact:
Amy Roady




Mike Opperman



Photo cutline: Daryl Cates, ISA District 15 director from Columbia, Ill., and Scott Sigman, ISA transportation and export infrastructure lead, received an America's Marine Highway Leadership Award from U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen.  The award commends ISA for leadership on inland waterway transportation innovation.