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November 2, 2021 12:30 PM, EDT

USDOT, California Announce Supply Chain Strategic Partnership

Cargo trucks travel past shipping containers in the Port of Los Angeles The Emerging Projects Agreement is meant to to assist with the transport of freight at key West Coast hubs where stakeholders have identified supply chain disruptions. (Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg News)

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With the Biden administration seeking remedies to ameliorate freight connectivity concerns related to the national supply chain, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a partnership with agencies in California.

The Emerging Projects Agreement is meant to assist with the transport of freight at key West Coast hubs where stakeholders have identified supply chain disruptions.

Under the partnership, announced Oct. 28, USDOT’s Build America Bureau will be tasked with aiding the California State Transportation Agency via financing opportunities. Such federal financing options include expediting access to Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF).

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

California projects under consideration for the federal-state partnership include commercial ports, freight rail corridors, large warehouses, truck electrification programs, highway congestion mitigation plans and land ports of entry.

“Our supply chains are being put to the test, with unprecedented consumer demand and pandemic-driven disruptions combining with the results of decadeslong underinvestment in our infrastructure,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “That’s why this administration is working around the clock to address both near-term and long-term challenges to our supply chains, including investments such as those in the bipartisan infrastructure deal.”

The secretary has called on Congress to clear for the president’s signature multitrillion-dollar infrastructure policy legislation.

Gav Newsome Executive Order by Transport Topics on Scribd

The U.S. DOT’s announcement came soon after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order meant to alleviate supply chain concerns. According to the governor’s order, “The Department of Finance shall work with state agencies and departments to develop longer-term proposals that support port operations and goods movement for consideration in the Jan. 10 governor’s budget. Proposals may include port and transportation infrastructure improvements, electrification of the goods movement system from port to delivery, workforce development and other actions to support goods movement.”

The governor further explained, “My administration will continue to work with federal, state, labor and industry partners on innovative solutions to tackle immediate challenges while also bringing our distribution processes into the 21st century.”

In the meantime, Biden administration officials continue to seek remedies for supply chain bottlenecks. A Biden-Harris task force on supply chain matters is collaborating with the private sector to expand operations at West Coast ports to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

My administration will continue to work with federal, state, labor and industry partners on innovative solutions.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

“The Emerging Projects Agreement today provides the state of California with a foundation to build a comprehensive program of public and public-private projects that will help build a stronger, more resilient goods movement chain that grows the economy by exporting and importing more goods,” said John Porcari, the administration’s port envoy. “With today’s agreement, we will create an innovative federal-state partnership that will serve as a model for other states.”

RoadSigns

In this episode, host Michael Freeze asks, how are companies saving money by leasing trucks rather than owning? For answers, we speak with Jim Lager of Penske Truck Leasing and Al Barner of strategic fleet solutions at Fleet Advantage. Hear a snippet above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

At a conference in Europe featuring the world’s foremost economic nations Oct. 31, Biden outlined a vision for ensuring the efficiency and climate resilience of supply chains. “Our supply chain should be: one, diversified, so that we’re not dependent on any one single source that might cause a failure,” the president said. “Secure against natural and man-made threats, including cyber and criminal attacks, like ransomware; and transparent so that both government and the private sector can better anticipate and respond to shortages that may be coming down the pike; and sustainable, to ensure our supply chains are free from forced and child labor, supporting the dignity and the voice of workers and are in line with our climate goals.”

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