It is no state secret that our maritime shipping services require a massive upgrade so that the US can properly handle freight and compete with the best nations in global trade. There are also larger vessels roaming the seas, and our ports need to be able to handle them.
The American Association of Port Authorities recently released a report suggesting that the US needs to make heavy investments into transportation in the future. In addition to upgrades at ports and terminals to handle more cargo, the report said that the roads and bridges that lead to the ports are in dire need of investments. Specially, the report calls for $28.9 billion to be spent on roads during the next 10 years, so that trucks can adequately move freight to and from the ports.
Without this investment, this study suggests that there could be severe consequences. For example, there could be more congestion at the ports if the highways that lead to them are not upgraded. Without the advancements, the US will not be able to properly handle freight and compete with other nations. We also need to upgrade intermodal. These upgrades could save ocean freight shipping in the US.
Part of the reason the upgrades might not be occurring is because of a lack of loans from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
To allow for more transportation investments, freight forwarders are calling on Congress to replenish the Highway Trust Fund. There is currently at $13 million shortfall. The deadline for congress to act is May 31.