United States Department of Agriculture Partners With Port of Houston and Expands Partnership With Northwest Seaport Alliance to Ease Port Congestion; Tom Vilsack Shares
WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to help improve service for shippers of United States-grown agricultural products, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a strategy to increase capacity for exporting chilled and frozen offerings at the Port of Houston in Texas. As part of the plan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with the port to lease additional chassis to take full advantage of its capacity.
“American farmers and ranchers depend on a reliable and efficient transportation system to move their products to market,” Secretary Vilsack said. “As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s creative approaches to improve port operation, we are collaborating with partners in the supply chain to adapt and overcome challenges facing agriculture. USDA is pleased to announce the partnership with the Port of Houston and the expanded collaboration with Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) to further ease port congestion. Through these investments, we continue to deliver on our promise to bolster the supply chain and support American-grown food and fiber.”
Through this partnership, the USDA is taking action to increase capacity for U.S. agricultural exports while also ensuring delays and insufficient capacity do not restrict exports, a release explained. Currently, the Port of Houston is the public port handling over two-thirds of the Gulf of Mexico’s container cargoes and is the sixth-busiest container gateway in the country.
Additionally, the USDA announced the expansion of its ongoing partnership with NWSA to increase access to a 16-acre “pop up” site to accept dry agricultural or refrigerated containers for temporary storage at NWSA in Tacoma, Washington. This will help reduce operational costs and challenges so that containers can be loaded on ships faster at export terminals.
The USDA’s partnerships with the Port of Houston and the NWSA are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Supply Chain Task Force efforts with state and local governments.
For more information on these partnerships and their impacts, click here.
As the USDA and other government agencies continue to take measures to mitigate industry challenges, AndNowUKnow will provide updates.