The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration – known as MARAD – and the American Association of Port Authorities plan to conduct a survey of port authorities and marine terminal operators across the country in 2024 that aims to identify the nation’s port cargo handling needs over the next five to ten years.
[Above photo via the Georgia Port Authority]
Led by AAPA through a cooperative agreement with MARAD, the “Building American Production Capacity for Electric Port Equipment and Other Port Infrastructure Items” information collection effort is scheduled to be completed by spring of 2024 – with a final report issued in summer of 2024.
Additionally, through interviews with ports and U.S. manufacturers, MARAD noted this survey effort will assess the interest and capability of American and foreign manufacturers to produce cargo handling equipment and other relevant port equipment in the United States.
MARAD added that this survey project will also assess the feasibility of a pooled procurement model for sourcing electrically powered port equipment and port items.
“Given the shortage of U.S. manufactured equipment to handle cargo and the industry-led push to electrify operations in response to a changing climate, it is critical that the U.S. build a domestic capacity for manufacturing clean, electrically powered American cargo handling equipment as an alternative to existing, predominantly foreign sources,” MARAD noted in a statement.
In November 2023, MARAD issued over $653 million to 41 port improvement projects nationwide via its Port Infrastructure Development Program or PIDP.
MARAD noted at the time that its PIDP seeks to improve port and related freight infrastructure to meet the nation’s cargo transportation needs. The program provides planning support, capital funding, and project management assistance to improve capacity and efficiency of ports in both urban and rural areas.
That November round of PIDP awards included more than $172.8 million for 26 small ports to continue to improve and expand their capacity to move freight reliably and efficiently, thereby boosting local and regional economies while protecting surrounding communities from air pollution.