Recommendations to address ongoing port and supply chain congestion, and proposed changes to agency regulations related to refunds for cancelled cruise ship voyages, were topics addressed during the open session of a Federal Maritime Commission meeting held on Wednesday.
Commissioner Rebecca Dye provided the commission with interim recommendations to address current conditions contributing to inefficiencies and congestion in the freight delivery system.
Dye’s eight interim recommendations are aimed at minimising barriers to private party enforcement of the Shipping Act, clarifying commission and industry processes, encouraging shippers, truckers, and other stakeholders to assist commission enforcement efforts, and bolstering the ability of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services to facilitate fair and fast dispute resolution.
Commissioner Carl Bentzel provided a summary of his examination of container and chassis manufacturing and the availability of intermodal equipment to support US international containerised trade. The commissioner noted that congestion and increased demand for equipment has led to shortages of chassis and containers in the United States and other nations as well. This demand has led to increased prices for new intermodal equipment. Concern was also raised about the extreme dominance China has in the manufacturing of containers.
Both Congress and president Biden have discussed in recent weeks plans to make the FMC more powerful to get to the bottom of today’s supply chain crunch that has harmed exporters and retailers alike.