Grant may boost cargo shipping in Portland

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PORTLAND — A $150,000 federal grant announced Dec. 10 will help create a new type of vessel that could restore coastal cargo shipping through the International Marine Terminal.

The grant to the Maine Port Authority will pay for design of a tug-barge hybrid whose lower cost and smaller crew would make it suited for moving cargo between Portland and the port of New York and New Jersey, according to U.S Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

The company providing regular cargo shipping through Portland announced earlier this year that it was ceasing operations.