In an effort to strengthen supply chain reliability and speed up the movement of goods, the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded over $653 million in grants to fund 41 port improvement projects.
The grants were awarded under the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP), which provides planning support, capital funding, and project management assistance to improve capacity and efficiency of ports in both urban and rural areas.
The Nov. 3 grant announcement, which is a part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda, includes:
- more than $172.8 million for 26 small ports to continue to improve and expand their capacity.
- The Port of Long Beach in California will receive $52.6 million to add a third intermodal railroad track and make roadway improvements in order to enhance cargo movements to and from the port and create more space for truck operations.
- The Port of Newark in New Jersey will recieve $32 million to reconstruct a berth that would increase the port’s capacity to handle projected increases in dry bulk goods and provide an additional layer of reliability for the regional and national supply chain.
Why Invest in Ports to Improve the Supply Chain?
The COVID-19 pandemic put enormous pressure on global supply chains, which proved were too weak to handle the strain, according to the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.
“Americans were paying more and waiting longer for everyday goods. At one point, more than a hundred ships were waiting to dock at West Coast ports. This contributed to inflationary prices,” government officials wrote. “This Administration and port workers stepped up to the challenge. Now, there’s been more than a 90% 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% from their peak in 2021. These investments represent the Biden Administration’s continued focus on improving U.S. ports and strengthening our supply chains to be more resilient to shocks to the system in the future.”