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$450 million in port grants aimed at cutting consumer costs

First round of maritime funding nearly doubles the amount released in FY21

The U.S. Maritime Administration announced on Wednesday nearly $450 million in FY22 competitive grant funding for projects to help ports speed cargo flows and ultimately lower costs for consumers.

That amount, to be made available through MARAD’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP), nearly doubles the amount released late last year in FY21 grants.

Under the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law, the $2.25 billion in total funds allocated for the program for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 is roughly the same amount released in federal port funding programs since MARAD — an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation — began providing such funds in 2009.

“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,” commented 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.”

PIDP grants support projects that “will improve the movement of goods to, through and around ports,” according to DOT. “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 grants also meet policy recommendations in DOT’s one-year supply chain report, expected to be released later Wednesday, that is focused on improving the movement of goods from ships to shelves.

Congress provided first-year funds of $293 million for the program in FY19 through the Consolidated Appropriations Act and continued funding the program at $225 million in FY2020 and $230 million in FY2021.

“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.” 

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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.