Congress created the Port Infrastructure Development Program in 2010, with the goal of supporting improvements to port infrastructure. The program is administered by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), and provides planning, stakeholder engagement, operational and capital financing, and project management assistance to ports and port stakeholders.

While it was created in 2010, the Port Infrastructure Development Program did not receive funding until 2019, when $292.7 million (USD) was appropriated for port improvements. Congress continued program funding at $225 million in FY2020 and $230 million in FY2021.

In three short years, the PIDP has become a critical source of federal assistance to reconstruct docks, improve road and rail access, expand storage capacity and modernized cargo handling equipment. To date, six Great Lakes ports have received more than $76 million for critical infrastructure investments.