Marine Highway Grants Target Supply Chain
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration recently awarded almost $12 million in grants to support efficient supply chains in marine highways.
Part of the United States Marine Highway Program, the funding will go to eight marine highway projects to improve the movement of goods across waterways, as well as expand existing waterborne freight services.
“Our country has always relied on American waterways to get vital goods where they need to go,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today, we are delivering new funding for eight marine highway projects across the country that will strengthen our supply chains, improve our ports, and help keep goods affordable for American families.”
The USMHP also acts as part of the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal of flowing 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Of the nearly awards announced, $5.8 million will reportedly support projects within historically disadvantaged communities.
The grants can be used to purchase low-emission U.S.-manufactured equipment with the condition that all iron, steel, manufactured products and construction materials are produced in the country. Additionally, funds can be used to purchase intermodal equipment that can alleviate supply chain bottlenecks.
Projects receiving funding include:
“The U.S. Marine Highway Program is focused on increasing waterborne transport through the nation’s navigable waterways,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “By integrating our internal waterways into the nation’s surface transportation system, we will be utilizing a more efficient, effective, and sustainable option for moving passengers and large freight.”
Other Recent MARAD Funding
Earlier this year, in February, MARAD announced more than $660 million in available funding for the Port Infrastructure Development Program. The PIDP aims to modernize the nation’s ports and help strengthen supply chains, helping to reduce shipping times, costs and ultimately the costs of goods. The bipartisan infrastructure package reportedly provides $450 million annually in funding for the program.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity marked more than $662 million available in Federal Fiscal Year 2023. PIDP discretionary grants help eligible applicants including port authorities, states, local governments, indigenous Tribal nations, counties, and other eligible entities complete critical port and port-related infrastructure projects.
According to the DOT’s release, the grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support projects that improve the safety, efficiency or reliability of the movement of goods through ports and intermodal connections to ports.
MARAD will also consider how projects address climate change and sustainability, equity and workforce development objectives.
The DOT noted that projects funded included:
In May, MARAD announced $20.8 million in grant awards through the Small Shipyard Grant Program. The funds are expected to help shipyards modernize, increase productivity and expand local job opportunities.
The round of funding was awarded to 27 small shipyards in 20 states. While a complete list of grants can be found here, examples of funding awards for painting and surface preparation equipment include:
MARAD reported that, since 2008, the Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded $303 million to nearly 350 shipyards in 32 states and territories throughout the country.