Biden administration investing $653M in ports to improve supply chains, keep costs down

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The Biden administration announced on Friday morning that it is investing more than $653 million to fund port projects with the goal of improving US supply chain reliability.

The projects through the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration will focus on 41 ports nationwide, including at the Port of Long Beach, Port of Milwaukee and Port of Newark. The funding comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law, which included nearly $17 billion overall in funding for ports and waterways.

“These investments will help expand capacity and speed up the movement of goods through our ports, contributing to cleaner air and more good-paying jobs as we go,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

Buttigieg told reporters that the funding is a good thing for Americans looking for the price of goods to “go down and stay down.” And he said the funding will lead to improvements in goods flowing through ports, improvements to keep shipping costs down, and a decrease in pollution at ports breathed in by workers and neighbors.

Administration officials, in announcing the funding, said that there has been a more than 90 percent decrease in the number of container ships waiting at US ports since when President Biden first took office, amid the supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials also noted that global container cost shippings are down by more than 80 percent from their peak in 2021.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw massive disruptions to our supply chain and those showed us just how important and vulnerable our ports are,” White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu told reporters.

The funding includes nearly $53 million to the Port of Long Beach for improvements to enhance cargo movements to form the port and increase safety at railroad crossings near the port.

It also gives over $43 million to the Cold Bay, Alaska, Port for a new dock designed to accommodate commercial use and gives over $54 million to the Port of Tacoma in Washington to install new cargo racks and power supplies.

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