Reed announces $825K to facilitate marine highway project at Port of Davisville

THE QUONSET DEVELOPMENT CORP. received a $855,200 federal grant to purchase new yard equipment for the Port of Davisville, following its designation as a marine highway project. / COURTESY QUONSET DEVELOPMENT CORP.

NORTH KINGSTOWN – The Quonset Development Corp. has received $855,200 to purchase new yard equipment that will assist the Port of Davisville with handling cargo to advance its marine highway project, a short-sea shipping lane designated between Rhode Island, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Newark, N.J., Sen Jack F. Reed announced Tuesday.

The grant will provide the Port of Davisville with funding for one reach stacker, four yard tractors and four bomb carts to help facilitate the movement of containers at the port. The equipment will make the port more efficient and competitive with alternative shipping methods, according to the senator’s office.

Funds will also be used for marketing the new service.

The short-sea shipping route was designated in March 2018 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, or MARAD. Once a marine highway project is recognized by MARAD, it receives preferential treatment for future federal grants and other assistance from DOT and MARAD.

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The Marine Highway Project was established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to reduce landside congestion through the designation of Marine Highway Routes, alleviating both traffic and wear and tear on transit infrastructure. The project is also designed to provide cost-effective alternatives to moving freight and passengers compared to highway and road shipping.

The Davisville-Brooklyn-Newark service is a proposed container-on-barge service that will be operated by SEACOR AMH LLC, with a dedicated run twice per week with up to 800 TEU containers.

“This grant is more good news for Quonset and Rhode Island,” said Reed in a statement. “It … creates competition for the movement of freight in the region, which could ultimately lower costs for businesses and consumers,” said Reed in a statement.

The project is a collaboration between the QDC, the Red Hook Container Terminal in Brooklyn, and SEACOR AMH in Newark.

“We want to thank Sen. Reed for his leadership on this initiative, and to Red Hook Container Terminal for their partnership in making this Marine Highway Project a reality,” stated Steven J. King, QDC managing director. “This grant funding will accelerate the recent growth at the Port of Davisville by enabling us to handle container shipping as a means of moving goods and will expand our capabilities in short-sea shipping.  It will also help us to add to the hundreds of jobs here at the port.”

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.