Photo: 226593803 / Cargo © David Shuler | (Photo for illustration purposes only)

The US government announces over US$660 million available for modernizing the U.S ports and strengthening the country´s supply chains. The aim is to reduce the shipping time, the overall costs, and ultimately the costs of goods for the American people.

To satisfy the country’s freight transportation needs, this financing will support ports’ and industry stakeholders’ efforts to upgrade port and related freight infrastructure. The program also includes a statutory set-aside for small ports to continue to improve, and expand their capacity to move freight reliably and efficiently, support local and regional economies, and support supply chain improvement.

Specifically, the United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity, making available more than US$662 million in Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 funding for Marad´s Port Infrastructure Development Program.

The U.S. President’s infrastructure package provides $450 million annually in funding for the Program.

Critical port and port-related infrastructure projects are completed by eligible applicants with the aid of discretionary grants from Marad´s Port Infrastructure Development Program, including port authorities, states, local governments, indigenous Tribal nations, counties, and other eligible entities. Grants are given out in a competitive process to fund initiatives that increase the security, effectiveness, or reliability of the movement of commodities through ports and intermodal connections to ports. In addition, Marad will take into account how projects address climate change and sustainability, equity, and workforce development objectives.

“This funding will support efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve port and related freight infrastructure to meet the Nation’s freight transportation needs and ensure our port infrastructure can support future growth,” commented Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips.

Recent projects funded include installation of fast charging stations and other port electrification components, and the development of a scalable plan for transitioning the port and local maritime industry to zero-emission technologies in Jacksonville, Florida; the creation of an intermodal rail yard near an existing port terminal in Kaskaskia, Illinois; and the modernization of electric and stormwater infrastructure and warehouse capacity for the Port of Cleveland by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in Cleveland, Ohio.