WASHINGTON (AP) – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is providing more than $ 241 million in grants to strengthen U.S. ports as part of the Biden administration’s short-term plan to remove America’s congested supply chain by improving infrastructure to speed up the flow of goods.
Transportation money is immediately disbursed to 25 projects in 19 states. Next year, the money to improve the port will nearly double to $ 450 million annually over five years under President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure law.
“US seaports play a critical role in our supply chains,” Buttijig said in a statement Thursday. “This investment in our country’s ports will help support American jobs, improve the efficiency and sustainability of operations, and expedite the delivery of goods to the American people.”
On Wednesday, Biden cited the upcoming grants as one measure to address supply bottlenecks in the short and long term.
“Earlier this fall, we heard a lot of dire warnings about supply chain problems leading to a crisis ahead of the holidays, so we took action,” Biden said. “We brought business and union leaders together to tackle problems, and the long-predicted crisis did not happen. Packages are moving. Gifts are delivered. The shelves are not empty. “
Grant money includes $ 52.3 million to help increase rail capacity at a port in Long Beach, California, with a new locomotive, 10,000 feet of support tracks, and an expansion of five existing tracks to speed up cargo movement while reducing the number of trucks. … travel is necessary for this.
Other recipients include:
- Portsmouth, VA, $ 20 million to build a supply chain for offshore wind power.
- Brunswick, Georgia, $ 14.6 million to build a fourth cargo dock at Colonel’s Island Terminal.
- Houston, $ 18.3 million to facilitate export and import of cargo through a significant increase in storage capacity at the Bayport container terminal.
- Tell City, Indiana, $ 1.6 million to build a 40-foot pier on the Ohio River that can be used to unload cargo directly from a barge to a truck.
- Delcambre, Louisiana, $ 2 million to rebuild the dock and make it climate resilient.
In recent months, higher prices have affected wages and turned public opinion on the economy against Biden in polls. One of the obstacles to lowering inflation amid the coronavirus pandemic was littered ports with ships awaiting docking with major transit hubs, leading to shortages of goods and emptying of some store shelves.
Buttigieg’s announcement builds on the Department of Transportation’s recent moves to reduce supply chain congestion, for example by allowing port authorities to redirect leftover money from grant projects. For example, the Georgia Ports Authority is using $ 8 million to convert its interior facilities at Port Savannah into container yards, freeing up dock space and speeding up the flow of goods to their final destination. Buttidzic toured the port last Friday, where his department said the number of ships waiting for anchor dropped from 30 to six last week and long containers were cut in half.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration sought to reduce delays by moving major ports to operate 24/7. The administration is also looking to improve the recruitment and retention of trucking workers.
However, supply chain problems persist, and steps taken by the administration have shown that there is no quick fix to problems that hurt small businesses and cause consumers to face higher prices. The Transportation Department said Thursday that projects receiving grants vary widely in readiness to launch, and it could take months before consumers begin to feel the impact of the improvements.