The Department of Transportation announced recently more than $653 million to fund 41 port improvement projects that “will strengthen supply chain reliability, create workforce development opportunities, speed up the movement of goods, and improve the safety, reliability and resilience of ports.” A DOT press release said these awards include more than $172.8 million for 26 small ports “to continue to improve and expand their capacity to move freight reliably and efficiently.”
The DOT states that this funding highlights a continued focus on improving U.S. ports and strengthening supply chains against future shocks to the system. The press release notes that the COVID-19 pandemic placed “enormous pressure” on those supply chains, resulting in shipment delays and higher costs, but that since then “thereʼs been more than a 90 percent decrease in the number of container ships waiting for berths at U.S. ports and global container shipping costs are down by more than 80 percent from their peak in 2021.”
Among the projects to be funded by the newly-announced grants are the following.
Long Beach, Calif. – adding a third intermodal railroad track to the Dominguez Channel Bridge; relocating and modernizing Pier B Street, on-dock roadways, and associated utilities; and realigning Pico Avenue, including replacing and relocating aging utilities in the area
Newark, N.J. – reconstructing Berth PN-308 to increase the portʼs capacity to handle projected increases in dry bulk goods, provide an additional layer of reliability for the regional and national supply chain, and improve port resilience by raising the elevation of the berth to better withstand flood events
Ogdensburg, N.Y. – deepening and extending the portʼs primary cargo berth to increase the size and number of vessels that can be docked simultaneously, which will reduce choke points and alleviate staging and cargo transfer capacity shortfalls
Wabasha, Minn. – constructing a new inland river barge terminal that will be more resistant to flood-related closure and provide additional capacity for the movement of agricultural commodities and other cargo on the Mississippi River
Tacoma, Wash. – tripling refrigerated cargo capacity at the port and redesigning port facilities to account for sea level rise and storm surge
Freeport, Texas – constructing a new cross-dock warehouse that will enable cargo to be unloaded, sorted, and loaded onto trucks without interfering with other terminal traffic, thereby reducing congestion
Blencoe, Iowa – establishing a new port along the Missouri River that will benefit grain shippers by increasing the volume of grain that can be handled
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