U.S. Seaports Need Multimodal Funding
U.S. port authorities identify more than $20 billion in projected multimodal port and rail access needs over the next decade, while one-third cite pressing rail project needs costing at least $50 million for each of their ports, according to a new American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) survey, The State of Freight III.
Funding and financing options are the biggest obstacles to getting essential rail projects started to access their facilities, say 67 percent of respondents.
Furthermore, 37 percent say that problematic at-grade rail crossings or height-restricted overpasses and tunnels near their ports are constraining cargo-handling capacity, while 36 percent report that land acquisition is a big problem in developing and planning port rail access projects.
"The findings show that while the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act has been essential in providing the building blocks for a national freight program, more must be done to ensure that multimodal goods movement projects have adequate resources to produce efficient and timely results," says AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. "These transportation projects are crucial to address our nation’s increasing freight volumes and enhance America’s international competitiveness.
"As a key component of America’s supply chain and a major facilitator for trade, seaports rely on a host of transportation modes and nodes—including roads, rails, waterways, tunnels and overpasses—to move large volumes of cargo, which may be headed to, or originating from, manufacturing, distribution, assembly and processing centers that support economic growth and millions of U.S. jobs," he notes.
"Our nation’s ports have identified a vast array of projects that are ready for investment and could move forward if the issues in this report could be addressed," says Nagle. "It’s important that steps be taken to resolve the barriers identified in this report that are preventing these projects from progressing."