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Proposed legislation looks to provide financial aid to divert containerships from California to Florida

A senator and a congressman, both from Florida, have proposed legislation that would compensate shipowners for costs involved in moving their container vessels anchored off the US West Coast through the Panama Canal to East Coast or Gulf of Mexico ports for unloading.

The Supply Chain Emergency Response Act, introduced by Senator Rick Scott and Representative Carlos Giménez, would make available up to $125m of unspent money from the CARES Act for this purpose.

To be eligible for grant money, the ship would need to show that it had an agreement to dock at a port on the West Coast.

“Fortunately, Florida’s ports are ready and able to help with this crisis and I hope all of my colleagues work with us to quickly pass this good and urgently needed bill,” said Scott.

Chinese vessel owners would not be eligible to receive grant money under the legislation.

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.


  1. This proposed legislation is absolutely insane and I would hope dead on arrival. I am no logistics expert but knowing maritime, anyone would know this effort would be a waste of my tax dollar.

    Putting the Chinese aside, most all of the vessels that would benefit from a US taxpayer subsidy are foreign owned and Flags of Convenience. I would even question whether $125m would do anything to offset the logistical nightmare caused by redirecting the cargo and getting it to its destination. This is nothing more than a money grab by foreign interest and naive legislators.

    The $125m would be better served to hire more truckers (and pay them a decent rate) and create temporary warehousing on the West Coast to get the containers off the pier. This is nothing more than madness!

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