White House releases action plan for ports

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The Biden-Harris administration recently released its Port Action Plan to accelerate investment in U.S. ports, waterways, and freight networks.

Recommendations in the plan would be funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal which invests $17 billion into modernizing infrastructure at ports and waterways.

The nation’s ports account for approximately 26 percent of gross domestic product and support more than 30 million jobs. No U.S. port is in the top 10 busiest ports in the world and only four are in the top 50. This means container traffic flows through a smaller number of U.S. ports with the offshore and onshore capacity to handle the largest vessels and their cargo.

The plan includes two immediate actions: The U.S. Department of Transportation will allow port authorities to redirect project cost savings toward tackling supply chain challenges and funding the Georgia Port Authority pop-up container yards project.

The plan also includes actions to take in the short term. These include:

The Port Infrastructure Development Grant program will award more than $240 million within the next 45 days.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction projects at coastal ports and inland waterways will be identified for more than $4 billion in funding within the next 60 days.