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United States Of America – Supply chain issues have been a challenge for many industry sectors since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the Port of Los Angeles had the highest traffic on record in 2021: 10.7 million 20-foot containers, which is 13% higher than the previous record set in 2018. However, this has taken the port’s capacity to its limit, and there have been dozens of anchored ships waiting for a chance to dock and unload. Major investments in US port infrastructure have been announced recently, as a way to strengthen local supply chains and speed up product delivery.
- In December 2021, the US Maritime Administration Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) announced a grant fund of over $241 million, which will be used to fund 25 projects across 19 states.
- Even greater funding will be available between fiscal years 2022 and 2026, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The PIDP program will be getting $450 per fiscal year, reaching a total investment of $2.25 billion.
The Biden-Harris Administration will also work with the US Army Corps of Engineers, as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. They will be investing $14 billion, in more than 500 projects distributed among 52 states and territories. These investments will be focused on key areas: upgrading port infrastructure and waterways, while improving climate resilience.
Port Infrastructure Projects Funded by PIDP Grants
As mentioned above, the $241 million grand fund announced by the PIDP will be used for 25 port infrastructure projects. You can check the full list of PIDP grant recipients in 2021 on their website, but here we have summarized key information about the seven projects receiving grants of over $10 million.
1) America’s Green Gateway Phase 1
Location: Long Beach, California
This project is getting the largest PIDP grant, which will be used for three different investments: a new locomotive facility with capacity for 24 units, and expansions of the east and west rail yards.
2) Offshore Wind Tower Manufacturing Port Project
Location: Albany, New York
The project will redevelop 14.5 vacant acres in the Port of Albany, and 81 vacant acres of industrial areas to the south along the Hudson River. This project focuses on wind tower manufacturing and port capacity expansion, to support the growing offshore wind industry.
3) South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) 35th Street Pier Expansion
Location: New York, New York
The 35th Street Pier will be getting a new crane pad and a barge berth capable of accomodating 400-ft vessels.
4) Portsmouth Marine Terminal Offshore Wind Development
Location: Portsmouth, Virginia
The Portsmouth Marine Terminal will be upgraded to become a staging area for offshore wind power projects, similar to the Port of Albany in New York. The project will include storage areas for major components like turbine generators and monopiles. The load-bearing capacity of these areas will be increased to store these heavy components.
5) Bayport Container Terminal Expansion
Location: Houston, Texas
The Bayport Container Terminal will be expanded with a 39-acre greenspace, which will be designated as Container Yard 1 South. The project covers site preparation, new concrete surfaces for container storage, and all utility services necessary for operation.
6) Colonel’s Island Berth #4
Location: Garden City, Georgia
The Colonel’s Island Terminal at Port of Brunswick will be getting a fourth roll-on/roll-off vessel berth. This will help accommodate carriers with a capacity of 7,000 car-equivalent-units or more with greater efficiency.
7) Off-Dock Container Support Facility
Location: Tacoma, Washington
This project will convert 24.5 acres of vacant land next to the Port of Tacoma terminals into container storage areas. This will give the terminals more space for cargo operations, improving their efficiency.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Port and Waterway Projects
The BipartisanPI Infrastructure Law will be giving the PIDP $450 per year during five years, as mentioned above. These investments will add up to $2.25 billion between fiscal years 2022 and 2026, which will fund more projects like those discussed in the previous section.
The Biden Administration has also announced major investments in waterway infrastructure and climate resilience projects:
- $858 million for a lock replacement at the upper Ohio River, west of Pittsburgh, keeping adequate water levels for large cargo vessels.
- $470 million for new locks along St. Mary’s River in Michigan, a key waterway for iron ore produced in the US.
- $69 million to expand the Norfolk Harbor in Virginia and improve navigation. The port’s container traffic has increased by 67% during the last 10 years.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes the largest investment on record for the Everglades. There is a budget of $1.1 billion to protect and restore this critical ecosystem in Florida, which provides drinking water for more than 8 million people.