The American Association of Port Authorities recently joined other maritime organizations in urging Congress and Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin to aid the hard-hit maritime industry with $3.5 billion in COVID-19 relief funding.
“America’s maritime transportation system, including its ports and their direct workforce of more than 650,000 front-line personnel, have kept essential goods moving to medical professionals, first responders and vital manufacturing, distribution and retail businesses during the pandemic,” said AAPA President and CEO Christopher J. Connor. “Their dedication and perseverance has enabled commerce to continue flowing during a time of great risk, upheaval, stress and greatly increased costs, allowing millions of Americans to safely and comfortably work from home.”
Despite trade upticks at major U.S. seaports, most ports continue to suffer financially, especially those that don’t handle containers such as steel, grain and other bulk commodities, Connor said.
“The relief we’re seeking is about ensuring ports and other maritime transportation businesses are able to keep pace with the accelerating costs of protecting their workers while keeping their workforce employed, and maintaining a state of readiness so they can significantly aid in the nation’s eventual economic recovery,” Connor said.