The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) have identified more than $20 billion in multimodal port and rail access needs for US ports over the next decade.
In the “State of Freight III” report released on May 16, 2018, the AAPA highlighted the growing need for ports to invest in rail access, with one-third of surveyed ports citing pressing rail project needs costing at least $50 million each.
67% of all ports surveyed states that funding and financing options are the biggest obstacles in pursuing essential rail projects to improve access to their facilities.
Additionally, 37% stated that height-restricted overpasses and tunnels and at-grade rail crossings are constraining cargo-handling capacity, while 36% reported that land acquisition is a major problem in approaching the planning and development of rail projects.
AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle commented: “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.
“These transportation projects are crucial to address our nation’s increasing freight volumes and enhance America’s international competitiveness.”
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A range of transportation modes, including rail, roads and waterways, are integral to America’s supply chain — moving large volumes of cargo heading to, or originating from, major manufacturing and distribution centres in the country.
In recent years many American ports have undertaken initiatives to upgrade their intermodal supply chain connections, including the Georgia Port Authority’s $126 million mega-rail terminal project and the port of Oaklands $175 million 7th Street Grade Separation Project — aiming to increase clearance for trucks and alleviate a major chokepoint for rail and trucks.
Nagle continued: “Our nation’s ports have identified a vast array of projects which are ready for investment and could move forward if the issues in this report could be addressed.
“It’s important that steps be taken to resolve the barriers identified in this report that are preventing these projects from progressing.”
The full State of Freight III report can be viewed here.