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FMC creates supply chain innovation teams to improve container return process

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on Tuesday announced the coming launch of six supply chain innovation teams comprising executives from each ocean carrier operating in an alliance and from the terminal operators that serve them. Commissioner Rebecca Dye said the teams will identify and implement improvements to the process and timing of return and delivery of containers to marine terminals.

Commissioner Dye said the teams will have two goals. The first is for truckers, when they’re returning empty containers to a terminal, to be able to pick up loaded containers, commonly referred to as “double moves.”

The second goal is to bring certainty and predictability to the earliest-return-date process to address exporter complaints about the unreliability of the deadline for getting cargo to a terminal.

The teams will focus their efforts on improving conditions at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and New York and New Jersey.

“Achieving double moves for truckers would improve trucker productivity and remove a constant source of conflict over container return, as well as resolve problems with appointment systems and chassis shortages. Earliest-return-date confusion is a terrible problem for US exporters. This reform would also remove the constant problem to US agricultural exporters of demurrage and detention charges that are not in compliance with our interpretative rule,” said Commissioner Dye.

The first meetings of the teams will be held on December 1.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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