Port of Los Angeles, California, October 20, 2021. Credit: ADLC / Shutterstock.com

MARAD Announces $450 Million in New Funding to Strengthen Port Infrastructure and Supply Chain

Mike Schuler
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February 24, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the availability of nearly $450 million in new grant funding for port-related projects.

The funding will be provided through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) and is by far the largest investment in the program ever. The grants will help ports expand capacity and improve the movement of goods through the domestic supply chains amid the pandemic-fueled import surge.

The funding is made possible through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which promised to invest $17 billion in ports and waterways. The funding amount is nearly double last year’s investment in PIDP for states and port authorities.

“We’re proud to announce this funding to help ports improve their infrastructure— to get goods moving more efficiently and help keep costs under control for American families,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “President Biden is leading the largest ever federal investment in modernizing our country’s ports, which will improve our supply chains and the lives of Americans who depend on them.” 

The grants are the latest action on commitments in the Biden Administration’s Port Action Plan. The grants also meet policy recommendations in DOT’s one-year supply chain report, published Thursday, that is focused on improving the movement of goods “from ships to shelves.”

PIDP grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support projects that will improve the movement of goods to, through and around ports. Furthermore, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law calls upon applicants to explore ways to include projects that will improve goods movement while also strengthening resilience, reducing emissions and advancing environmental justice. 

“The historic investments made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help remove bottlenecks by enabling ports to expand capacity and improve intermodal connections,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley. “The grant funds will also create new jobs across the U.S. maritime industry.”   

In December, U.S. Department of Transportation announced the award of more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding for 25 projects across the country through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).

The Biden Administration has previously announced it has allocated $14 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other appropriations to strengthen U.S. ports and waterways, spanning over 500 projects across 52 states and territories.

Last fall, the Department of Transportation and the State of California announced $5 billion loan to help modernize California’s ports. The current status of the loan and what exactly the money will be spent on remains unclear.

The Port of Long Beach in December was awarded a $52.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration to help fund development of the port’s “Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility,” helping to boost on-dock rail capacity at shipping terminals. 

Seperately, California’s 2022-23 state budget proposal includes $2.3 billion for ports in the state, which have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic-induced import surge.

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