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Port Notes - May 28, 2019

From the Desk of Capt. Jeff Monroe, MM, AMPE


The Port of Prince Rupert in Canada’s British Columbia, through the Prince Rupert Port Authority, has completed a new master plan focused on a capacity of six to seven million TEUs of through the development of multiple terminals. The plan looked at the potential for expansion of Fairview Terminal and the development of a new second container terminal at the Port’s South Kaien Island location. This second terminal would have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs and would be the next phase of terminal expansion for the container trade after the expansion of Fairview Container Terminal. The facility is managed by DP World which is focused on expanding its current capacity from 1.35 million TEUs to 1.8 million TEUs by 2022. The Port of Prince Rupert is among the fastest growing ports in North America and handled a record one million TEUs and 27 million tons of cargo in 2018. The Port is expected to become Canada’s second largest port in the next five years after the Port of Vancouver.


The U.S. House has released the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020, providing $7.355 billion in annual funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This builds on last year’s record appropriation of $7 billion for the Corps. The FY 2020 funding is 5.1 percent above the FY 2019 amount, and 52.4 percent above the President’s budget proposal of $4.827 billion. Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund projects would receive $1.697 billion, $147 million above the FY 2019 level, and an increase of $732 million above the President’s request and $100 million above the target set by the Water Resources Development Act of 2016. This amount equates to more than 95 percent of the estimated $1.782 billion in FY 2019 Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) revenues. The Bill moves next to the Senate.


The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has passed S.1439, which reauthorizes activities of the Maritime Administration including (but not limited to) the Port Operations, Research, and Technology Act (aka Ports Improvement Act). The bill authorizes $600,000,000 (subject to appropriations) to the Secretary of Transportation to make grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible applicants to assist in funding eligible projects for the purpose of improving the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods through ports and intermodal connections to ports.

The House T & I Committee has the opportunity to work together to ensure a portion of this is directed to inland port projects and here’s how: The Senate bill:

Authorizes $600,000,000, and of that, 25% (or $150,000,000) is set aside for ‘small projects’ (being defined as less than $11,000,000). No determination however was made for specifically setting aside funds directly for rural projects (defined as outside urbanized areas) and no mention being made of the elimination of the minimum award floor, in addition, the program is only being made to public entities or private entities with a public sponsor. The Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals Association is looking to get support for more inland investment. For further information on how to lend support, contact: Aimee Andres, Executive Director at

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