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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

DOT: Grants to marine highway system will speed goods "from ships to shelves"

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A dozen marine-highway projects are getting approximately $39 million under the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP) to increase their range of services, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced recently.

The 12 Marine Highway grants were awarded to projects across the country and in U.S. territories developed to strengthen both supply chains and national security, according to the DOT's Oct. 6 announcement. Funded programs will increase the nation's strategic sealift resources and provide alternative transportation options "during times of disaster or national emergency," the DOT states.

"The funding will help expand marine highway services on our nation’s navigable waterways," the DOT states in the announcement, "to reduce congestion, alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, and move goods more quickly from ships to shelves."

Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips called the AMHP an "innovative program" using the country's waterways to move freight and passengers, thus reducing congestion strains on land-based transportation.

“The funding announced today advances our ongoing efforts to help new marine highway services begin operation and to improve existing services," Phillips said in the announcement.

The AMHP has received an extra $25 million in funding in 2022 through President Joseph Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the DOT reports, the largest single investment in the program. Fifty-eight Marine Highway projects have been approved by the AMHP, according to the DOT, "strengthening job markets and local economies across the United States."

“At a time of record demand for goods, it’s more important than ever to strengthen our supply chains so our manufacturers can grow and American families can get the things they need quickly and affordably," DOT Sec. Pete Buttigieg. "Today’s announcement will help improve our marine highway system across the country, alleviating congestion, modernizing port operations, and ultimately lowering the cost of goods for American families.”

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