Additional funding for the country’s ports was recently announced as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to facilitate the movement of freight along key supply chains.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing more than $700 million to nearly four dozen ports for improvement projects. The funding, approved in the $1 trillion infrastructure law, will target coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports and inland river ports.
Several terminals at the Port of Oakland were shut down for most of the day Wednesday after workers affiliated with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union walked off the job over a local contract dispute.
Three terminals — Oakland International Container Terminal, Everport and TraPac — shut down during the day shift after the unexpected labor action, port spokesperson Marilyn Sandifur said in an email. The terminals resumed operations for the night shift, which began at 6 p.m. yesterday. Normal operations are expected on Thursday.
Anxiety has been growing among US agriculture exporters as barges limp down a Mississippi River hobbled by closures and stoppages.
And the US Army Corps of Engineers is engaged in a frustrating game of ‘whack-a-mole’, trying to unclog blockages along the river.
Water levels of the Mississippi fell to record lows last month with the persistent lack of rain and shipping has been severely hit by a combination of closures – to allow for dredging in critical areas – and pile-ups as vessels and barges ground in shallow water.
As soon as one blockage is removed, another occurs just along the river.