A Port of Vancouver shipping company is set to receive millions of dollars in federal funding for new equipment to improve its containerized cargo operations while simultaneously reducing emissions.
More than $4.1 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation Marine Administration will be awarded to Tidewater Barge Lines Inc., the largest barge and terminal network in the Columbia-Snake River system, for the purchase of an electric dock crane.
By doing so, freight that would otherwise be transported on highways will now be directed to inland waterway travel, Todd Busch, president and CEO of Tidewater, said in a statement. Specifically, the new quayside crane will help move an additional 3,000 shipping containers per year.
Tidewater expects the design, review, procurement and installation process to be complete by late 2023 or early 2024, according to a company representative. The grant will also be used to purchase a new crawler crane, a smaller, mobile piece of equipment.
Clark County and Vancouver partner on waste management service which uses Tidewater to transport waste to the Finley Buttes landfill in Morrow County, Oregon. Barge lines send shipping containers 180 miles upriver from the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Oregon, before they are trucked to the disposal site.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a senior member of the Senate subcommittee overseeing transportation and infrastructure appropriations, said in a statement that the federal investment will help prevent supply chain lockdowns. supply.
“Ultimately, this is going to make a major difference in reducing emissions, creating well-paying jobs, and continuing to build a strong economy in Washington State,” she said.
US Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Chair of the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee, also applauded the environmental component of the investment.
“Removing freight traffic from our roads and on our waterways means less traffic, fewer accidents and fewer greenhouse gas emissions,” she said in a statement.
The federal funding comes from the U.S. Marine Highway Grant program, which aims to use the nation’s underutilized marine highways — rivers, canals and coastlines — by creating incentives for public and private groups to use them for transportation. According to the maritime administration, this will prolong the longevity of the routes while reducing congestion.
For more information on America’s Marine Highway program, visit maritime.dot.gov.