Today’s Pickup: U.S. makes $225M in grant money available to ports

Port of Miami


U.S. ports can now apply for a portion of $225 million discretionary
grant funding available fromt the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Port
Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP)

“America’s ports are a critical part of the Nation’s
multimodal transportation network and this Notice of Funding Opportunity
provides guidance on how to apply for these grants,” said U.S. Transportation
Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Port Infrastructure Development Program supports U.S. ports
by improving the safety, efficiency, or reliability of goods movement into, out
of, or within a port, DOT said. Investments in port infrastructure will be
awarded on a competitive basis. 

Projects will be evaluated using criteria which includes
effect on the movement of goods, leverage of federal funding, net benefits,
project readiness, and domestic preference. 

“Infrastructure improvement must include our nation’s
economic gateways – our ports – and the roads and railways that connect them to
the local and national economy,” added Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby.

Details and registration information regarding these
webinars will be made available at The deadline to submit
an application for the Port Infrastructure Development Program is 8 p.m. EDT
May 18, 2020.

Did you know?

Outbound loaded container volumes, measured in SONAR (SONAR:  ORAIL40L.LAX, FBXD.CNAW), from China to the
U.S. fell from around 3,200 per day to an average of 1,831 per day for the week
ending Feb. 28, and the Freightos Baltic Daily Index from China to the U.S.
West Coast declined from nearly $1,600 per 40-foot container to just under


“We see encouraging signs in improving volume and
utilization trends that the freight downturn is in its late stages and the
market will rebalance in 2020. However, the ongoing rate pressure, even as
volumes improved, tells us that excess capacity persists. The good news is that
capacity additions have just stopped at the Class 8 tractor level, which we
think will take pressure off rates as the year progresses.”

— Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst

In other news:

Congressmen optimistic on transportation reauthorization bill

Five congressmen said they are
hopeful that the surface transportation bill, which expires at the end of
September, will be reauthorized despite the current political environment. (AASHTO)

Arizona gas tax hike gets cool reception

A proposal to double the Arizona
state gas tax might not pass, despite a majority of legislators in favor, after
key Republicans came out against the plan. (Arizona Capital Times)

Has deregulation worked?

Two Cabinet secretaries tied wage
and job growth over the past two years to the Trump administration’s deregulation
efforts. (The Daily Signal)

To move goods in Mumbai, truck drivers must pay

According to a national study, truck drivers in the Mumbai
Metropolitan Region must pay an average of ₹1,135 per trip ($15.73) in bribes
to local authorities to move goods. Nationally, the average is ₹222 ($3.08) per
day for a 417-kilometer trip. (Hindustan Times)

Container ships sitting idle

According to data from Alphaliner,
8.8% of global container capacity is idle because of the coronavirus. (Supply Chain Dive)

Final thoughts

The U.S.
Supreme Court may be asked to take up a potentially landmark trucking case, if
Walmart appeals a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling. The case involves whether
Walmart was required, under California law, to pay approximately 800 drivers
for time in the sleeper berth. A $60.8 million judgement was rendered against
the company by a jury and upheld by the appeals court. Walmart has asked for a
stay on the payout until it decides whether to appeal to the Supreme Court. A
Supreme Court case could have broader impacts on whether states can implement
work rules on businesses such as trucking companies otherwise governed by federal

Hammer down, everyone!