Biden rolls out multibillion-dollar plan to upgrade aging US ports after passage of infrastructure bill
The Biden administration outlined several initiatives aimed at addressing immediate supply chain challenges and other disruptions affecting global commerce.
Several senior administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to share details of the proposed plans, said the administration will begin work within the next 60 days with the US Army Corps of Engineers on $4 billion worth of construction work at coastal ports, inland waterways as well as other corps-eligible facilities.
The plan will also identify and prioritise $3.4 billion in upgrades to obsolete inspection facilities that will make international trade more efficient through the northern and southern borders, a senior administration official said.
“This is a long-overdue infrastructure improvement, and it has clearly been a bottleneck in the past,” the person added.
The officials said the administration plans to standardise data-sharing requirements for shipping lines, terminal operators, railroads, truckers, warehouses and cargo owners. “There is not a lot of data-sharing among the private sector and participants in the goods movement chain,” the official said, adding that the lack of data exchange causes delays and inefficiencies as cargo moves from one part of the supply chain to another.
The US Digital Service is working with the Federal Maritime Commission and the joint programme office at the Department of Transportation to build a data framework that will help move goods more efficiently, the senior Biden administration official said.
The world’s supply chain – already exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic – is continuing to bear the brunt of surging consumer demand, labour shortages and overseas manufacturing delays, which has led to higher transportation costs and inflation.
President Joe Biden will visit the Port of Baltimore to discuss how the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed by lawmakers will improve ports and strengthen supply chains.
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15th November 2021