New Articles

Senate Passes Budget Reconciliation Granting $3 Billion to Ports for Electrification Projects

federal US ports will be handling more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Senate Passes Budget Reconciliation Granting $3 Billion to Ports for Electrification Projects

Following months of negotiation over Congressional Democrats’ agenda, and with persistent advocacy from the port industry, this afternoon, the Senate passed the long-awaited Inflation Reduction Act, the budget reconciliation bill that includes $3 billion over five years to establish a new grant program to install electrified equipment and reduce emission at ports.

The inclusion of electrification in this bill is an enormous win for the American port industry and U.S. supply chains. It provides a brand-new source of funding for ports seeking to purchase electrified or alternative-fueled cargo-handling equipment, shore power systems, microgrids for energy resiliency, electric grid infrastructure, and more. This pivotal investment of Federal capital will make U.S. ports more resilient to extreme weather events like heat waves and storms, including through the construction of microgrids. The creation of a Federal grant program to reduce emissions and electrify ports demonstrates the Federal Government’s unprecedented attention to port infrastructure needs.

The $3 billion will go a long way toward establishing innovative projects at ports to boost resiliency, expand cargo-handling capacity, and reduce emissions, but further investment will still be necessary. A survey of AAPA’s members found that American ports have $50 billion worth of green infrastructure projects ready to build over the next decade, but there is a gap in funding. Nevertheless, this Federal grant program will signal to equipment manufacturers and private investors that this electrification technology at ports will be ubiquitous in the coming years. AAPA will continue to work with government and industry to secure the necessary resources to modernize ports and the supply chain.

The Inflation Reduction Act contains other provisions ports can utilize, including a bevy of tax credits for clean energy solutions, such as offshore wind and hydrogen energy, and a $60 million allocation to the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant program, which is intended specifically for goods movement. Another $2.6 billion is allocated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the protection of marine habitats and resilience for coastal communities from extreme storms. Finally, $1 billion is provided for the replacement of ‘class 6 or 7’ heavy-duty vehicles with zero-emission alternatives.

In August 2021, AAPA sent a letter to Congressional Leadership, encouraging them to include port electrification in the next reconciliation package. Since then, AAPA has continued engaging with Congress on this program, including directly with the offices of Senators Schumer and Manchin, through briefings with the Congressional PORTS Caucus, and in dozens of meetings conducted by AAPA members during the Legislative Summit: “Now We Build!” in March. This legislation also aligns with the launch of the AAPA Port Opportunities with Energy, Resilience, and Sustainability (POWERS) Program, impelling the energy and environmental aspects of AAPA’s Federal advocacy.

About AAPA

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is the unified voice of port leaders and maritime industry partners across the Western Hemisphere who serve a vital role in job-creation, international competitiveness, and economic prosperity. Connecting small business owners, retailers, and manufacturers to the global marketplace, AAPA member organizations sustain 31 million jobs and 26 percent of the U.S. economy, and advocate for national policies and infrastructure investments in support of a resilient global supply chain and a positive impact on the way people live, work, travel, and engage in commerce. Visit or on Twitter @PortsUnited.


SkillsTrader® TA versacold TIVE BDP delivery of advanced education to future port industry leaders through LU’s fully online Master of Science in Port and Terminal Management.

American Association of Port Authorities and Lamar University Renew Partnership

Washington, D.C. – The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and Lamar University (LU) have renewed their agreement to partner in the delivery of advanced education to future port industry leaders through LU’s fully online Master of Science in Port and Terminal Management. The agreement updates and renews the Memorandum of Understanding initially entered in June 2016, reflecting a shared commitment in the preparation of port and marine terminal industry leaders for their future challenges and opportunities.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AAPA is the unified voice of the seaport industry in the Americas, representing more than 130 public port authorities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. AAPA’s Professional Development Board, chaired by Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Director, Port of Long Beach, led this initiative for the Association.

“Lamar University’s Center for Port Management fulfills our industry’s long-standing dream of having an academic venue to gain both the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to successfully prepare the next generation of port leaders,” Dr. Hacegaba said.

AAPA President and CEO Chris Connor stated, “To meet the changing demands of the global supply chain and the recent substantial investment in U.S. infrastructure, the port industry must continually evolve. There has never been a more important time to collaborate with colleges and universities to prepare the next generation of our industry’s leaders. Lamar University’s Center and its singular advanced degree in port and terminal management is what port professionals of the future need today.”

Mr. Connor added, “The agreement also enables port professionals certified through AAPA’s Professional Port Manager program to earn credit hours towards the completion of Lamar’s Port and Terminal Master’s Degree program.”

Home to 17,000 students, Lamar University is in Beaumont, Texas, and a member of the Texas State University System. LU’s Center for Advances in Port Management was established by the State of Texas in Fall 2015. CAPM is the first of three university Signature Centers, which also include the Center for Resiliency and the Center for Midstream Management.

CAPM’s primary purpose is the online delivery of advanced education for port and marine terminal professionals. The Center also sponsors industry-relevant research, continuing education, and certifications.

Fully half of the Center’s twelve-course, port master’s degree curriculum is taught by industry experts. The other half is taught by LU faculty from the MBA program, and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. The active participation of industry experts, as adjuncts and guest lecturers, is the key differentiator of Lamar’s Port and Terminal Master’s Degree program. The fact that the program is fully online allows the Center to access both industry experts and students throughout the U.S. and globally.

CAPM has been led since its inception by Erik Stromberg. Mr. Stromberg has nearly four decades of experience in the port industry, highlighted by his decade-long tenure as CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities and subsequent ten-year service as CEO of the North Carolina State Ports Authority.

Lamar University’s new President, Dr. Jaime Taylor, emphasized the Center for Port Management represents the commitment of the University to strong collaboration with industry and government. “The Center for Port Management demonstrates the benefits of strong and effective academic and industry integration in preparing the next generation of port and marine terminal industry leaders,” President Taylor said. He continued, “Such integration is fundamental to the success of the Center’s master’s degree, and its continuing education and research programs.”

Mr. Stromberg concluded, “Our master’s degree is aimed at enhancing leadership opportunities for port and terminal industry working professionals. In addition, we have found strong interest from those in related careers who desire management positions in the port and marine terminal industry.”


Another Appeal for White House Action on Port Talks

Los Angeles, CA – The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has joined the chorus of national organizations with a letter to the White House urging to appoint a federal mediator to administer the ongoing contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

“America’s seaports are absolutely vital to our economy, jobs and international competitiveness,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO.  “At this tender stage of the economic recovery, our nation simply cannot afford disruptions, let alone a shutdown, of any part of the ports system.”

Contract negotiations between the ILWU and the PMA have dragged on since the end of May with work slowdowns at the 29 U.S. West Coast ports affected by the talks significantly cutting into cargo volumes. Particularly impacted are the major ‘load center’ ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma.

After seven months of labor negotiations without an agreement being reached, he said, “we believe that federal mediation is now necessary to prevent the significant economic repercussions that can occur whenever there is uncertainty and unpredictability in the movement of international commerce through our ports.”

According to the port group, international trade accounts for nearly one-third of the U.S. economy with the country’s seaports handling more than 99 percent of the nation’s overseas imports and exports, amounting to more than 2 billion tons of goods annually.

“This mammoth flow of trade supports more than 13 million American jobs and generates over $200 billion a year in tax revenues. Disruptions to this trade flow hurt American businesses and farmers, cost American consumers and impede America’s ability to compete in international markets,” wrote Nagle.

Over the last several weeks, a coalition of businesses and trade organizations, led by the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation, have communicated with the White House urging the President to take action, while Congressional delegations from California, Oregon and Washington have also communicated with the White House calling for executive action.

In mid-November, the White House issued a statement from the President saying that he was “confident” the negotiations would come to a successful conclusion.