Watch Now

Today’s Pickup: US makes $225M in grants available to ports

The U.S. Department of Transportation has opened the application process for $225 million in grants available to ports for infrastructure improvements. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

U.S. ports can now apply for a portion of $225 million in discretionary grant funding available from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).

“America’s ports are a critical part of the Nation’s multimodal transportation network and this Notice of Funding Opportunity provides guidance on how to apply for these grants,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Port Infrastructure Development Program supports U.S. ports by improving the safety, efficiency or reliability of goods movement into, out of or within a port, DOT said. Investments in port infrastructure will be awarded on a competitive basis. 

Projects will be evaluated using criteria which include effect on the movement of goods, leverage of federal funding, net benefits, project readiness and domestic preference. 

“Infrastructure improvement must include our nation’s economic gateways — our ports — and the roads and railways that connect them to the local and national economy,” added Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby.

Details and registration information regarding these webinars will be made available at The deadline to submit an application for the Port Infrastructure Development Program is 8 p.m. EDT May 18, 2020.

Did you know?

Outbound loaded container volumes, measured in SONAR (SONAR:  ORAIL40L.LAX, FBXD.CNAW), from China to the U.S. fell from around 3,200 per day to an average of 1,831 per day for the week ending Feb. 28, and the Freightos Baltic Daily Index from China to the U.S. West Coast declined from nearly $1,600 per 40-foot container to just under $1,300.


“We see encouraging signs in improving volume and utilization trends that the freight downturn is in its late stages and the market will rebalance in 2020. However, the ongoing rate pressure, even as volumes improved, tells us that excess capacity persists. The good news is that capacity additions have just stopped at the Class 8 tractor level, which we think will take pressure off rates as the year progresses.”

— Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst

In other news:

Congressmen optimistic on transportation reauthorization bill

Five congressmen said they are hopeful that the surface transportation bill, which expires at the end of September, will be reauthorized despite the current political environment. (AASHTO)

Arizona gas tax hike gets cool reception

A proposal to double the Arizona state gas tax might not pass, despite a majority of legislators in favor, after key Republicans came out against the plan. (Arizona Capital Times)

Has deregulation worked?

Two Cabinet secretaries tied wage and job growth over the past two years to the Trump administration’s deregulation efforts. (The Daily Signal)

To move goods in Mumbai, truck drivers must pay

According to a national study, truck drivers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region must pay an average of ₹1,135 per trip ($15.73) in bribes to local authorities to move goods. Nationally, the average is ₹222 ($3.08) per day for a 417-kilometer trip. (Hindustan Times)

Container ships sitting idle

According to data from Alphaliner, 8.8% of global container capacity is idle because of the coronavirus. (Supply Chain Dive)

Final thoughts

The U.S. Supreme Court may be asked to take up a potentially landmark trucking case, if Walmart appeals a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling. The case involves whether Walmart was required, under California law, to pay approximately 800 drivers for time in the sleeper berth. A $60.8 million judgement was rendered against the company by a jury and upheld by the appeals court. Walmart has asked for a stay on the payout until it decides whether to appeal to the Supreme Court. A Supreme Court case could have broader impacts on whether states can implement work rules on businesses such as trucking companies otherwise governed by federal regulations.

Hammer down, everyone!

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]