Marine Highway Project Designation Open Season and Renewal of Project Designations

Marine Highway Project Designation Open Season and Renewal of Project Designations

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT or Department) and Maritime Administration (MARAD) announce that the open season for the America's Marine Highway Program (AMHP) Marine Highway Project Designation application submissions is being extended to September 30, 2025 (Open Season). The purpose of this notice is to invite eligible applicants to submit Marine Highway Project Designation applications to DOT for review and consideration during this extended open season, in addition to outlining the process for renewing Project Designations once they have reached four years or older.

There will be eleven Project Designation application review sessions during the extended Marine Highway Project Designation Open Season. Table 1 contains the application due dates and review periods for each review session. Projects qualified for designation will be announced shortly after the completion of each review session. Applications can be submitted at any time but will only be reviewed during the next upcoming review session after submittal.

Table 1—Open Season Project Designation Application Submission and Review Timeline

Review Session Project application due date Project review period
1 September 30, 2022 October 1-December 30, 2022
2 January 31, 2023 February 1-April 30, 2023
3 May 31, 2023 June 1 2023-August 31, 2023
4 September 30, 2023 October 1-December 30, 2023
5 January 31, 2024 February 1-April 30, 2024
6 May 31, 2024 June 1-August 31, 2024
7 September 30, 2024 October 1-December 30, 2024
8 January 31, 2025 February 1-April 30, 2025
9 May 31, 2025 June 1-August 31, 2025
10 September 30, 2025 October 1-December 30, 2025


The AMHP was established by Section 1121 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to reduce landside congestion through the designation of Marine Highway Routes. Section 405 of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 further expanded the scope of the program to increase the utilization and efficiency of domestic freight transportation on Marine Highway Routes between U.S. ports by including routes that do not have parallel landside routes. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 expanded the definition of short sea shipping (now referred to as marine highway transportation) to include freight vehicles carried aboard commuter ferry boats and cargo shipped in discrete units—or packages that are handled individually, palletized, or unitized specifically for transport. In addition, the revised final rule at 46 CFR part 393, which outlines the scope of the AMHP, became effective on January 2, 2018.