Senator Collins Fights for Maine Ports Facing Increased Volume Due to COVID-19

Maine’s ports have provided essential infrastructure throughout this pandemic

At Senator Collins’ request, MARAD hosted a webinar today to provide Maine ports with the information they need to apply for FY 2020 federal grant programs.

 

Washington, D.C. – During the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine’s ports have provided essential infrastructure by delivering life sustaining food and medical supplies to the people of Maine.  U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, has been working across the aisle to secure assistance for Maine’s ports.

 

“As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, ensuring that small ports in Maine have the opportunity to compete for federal funding is one of my priorities,” said Senator Collins.  “I’ve asked the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, as part of its ongoing mission to strengthen the national port infrastructure, to provide technical assistance to small ports in Maine, as well as any port requesting assistance, and the agency has agreed to do so.”

 

Senator Collins secured $225 million in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 final Appropriations agreement to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of our nation’s ports.  To help Maine’s ports, this legislation requires the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to prioritize small ports for any grant award under $10 million and allows MARAD to increase the federal cost-share for grant awards under $10 million. 

 

At Senator Collins’ request, MARAD hosted a webinar today to provide Maine ports with the information they need to apply for FY 2020 federal grant programs.

 

“The Maine Port Authority is tasked with developing Maine’s maritime and intermodal infrastructure.  The MARAD webinar requested by Senator Collins was incredibly helpful for Maine port professionals in understanding the available federal resources to further our shared mission,” said Jon Nass, CEO of Maine Port Authority.  “What a great opportunity to interact with senior professionals at MARAD and to learn how to effectively compete for federal funding to build the infrastructure that ensures Maine can continue to be supplied with life-sustaining commodities like food and medical supplies.”     

 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eimskip vessels unloading at the Portland International Marine Terminal (IMT) have arrived laden with between 55 percent and 70 percent food and health care products. Prior to the pandemic, these products typically accounted for 30 percent of shipments.  To date, 2020 container volumes are up 10 percent compared to 2019’s levels.