On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to approve the FY2021 funding package for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The proposed top line number for USACE is $7.6 billion, about $1.7 billion more than the administration requested.
According to the Waterways Council (WCI), Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) projects will receive $1.7 billion, about $665 million more than the Trump administration’s FY2021 budget request. The amount represents 92 percent of estimated HMTF revenue, well above Congress’ previous target and a substantial departure from its historical practice of repurposing HMTF receipts.
In a separate allocation, the USACE is set to receive $17 billion in emergency funding – more than twice the agency’s top-line budget – to accelerate work on its current projects. The Construction account would receive $10 billion to speed up projects across all Corps mission areas, at least $3 billion of which is set aside for inland waterways projects. The bill also provides $5 billion in emergency funding for operations and maintenance. These funding levels are unprecedented, and they may face scrutiny when the bill proceeds to the full House and to the Senate.
“This bill appropriates an amount close to the record-level funding provided to the Corps’ Civil Works mission for FY20 and an additional $17 billion in emergency infrastructure funding to significantly advance the completion of important water resources projects. A new start for the inland waterways in FY21 is welcome news and helps to further modernize this critical transportation system,” said WCI President and CEO Tracy Zea in a statement.
Water Resources Development Act passes committee
On Wednesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved this year’s draft of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the recurring authorization bill for waterway projects.
Perhaps its most significant element is the removal of the cap on spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF). Currently, the fund has a surplus balance of about $10 billion, and WRDA 2020 would allow Congress to appropriate additional money for harbor maintenance from this amount.
The bill would also change the cost share for inland waterway infrastructure projects from the current 50/50 split to a ratio of 65% federal and 35% Inland Waterways Trust Fund, leveraging a larger federal share.
It would also deauthorize about $10 billion worth of old Corps projects and would require the Corps to reassess and update the economic and environmental impacts
of antiquated projects before they may be carried out.
“We are grateful to have maritime champions like Chairman Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member Sam Graves, Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Janet Napolitano and Ranking Member Bruce Westerman,” said Jennifer Carpenter, AWO President & CEO. “AWO is proud to back this bill, which will strengthen our waterways infrastructure system to the benefit of American shippers, the tugboat, towboat and barge industry and American maritime as a whole.”
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]