The Biden administration this week announced that it will allow port authorities to redirect cost savings from existing federal projects to address supply chain bottlenecks at ports.

A White House fact sheet outlining policy changes noted that the Port of Savannah specifically will be able to reallocate more than $8 million to convert existing inland facilities into five pop-up container yards in both Georgia and North Carolina. Under the plan, the Port of Savannah will transfer containers via rail and truck further inland so that they can be closer to their final destination, which will make available valuable real estate closer to the port, freeing up more dock space and speeding goods flow in and out of the port.

The administration’s plan also includes the following “further near-term actions:

  • Launch programs to modernize ports and Marine highways with more than $240 million in grant funding within the next 45 days;
  • Identify projects for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction at coastal ports and inland waterways within the next 60 days, funded with $4 billion;
  • Prioritize key ports of entry for modernization and expansion within the next 90 days, funded with $3.4 billion;
  • Open competition for the first round of port infrastructure grants funded through the bipartisan infrastructure deal within 90 days, funded with $475 million.”

In addition, the Department of Transportation plans to publish a “playbook” for states on how to use grant and loan programs across the department to support goods movement and help alleviate freight bottlenecks, will develop and issue revised guidance on State Freight Plans, and will coordinate with the Federal Maritime Commission to publish a request for information on standardized data exchange requirements for goods movement in the transportation supply chain.

Further information on the administration’s plan can be found here.