San Francisco: The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has voted to approve an agreement between west coast ports which should improve the efficiency of operations at those facilities.
Considering the months of congestion and delays on Pacific coast docks, the timing could not be better for this measure.
Called the Pacific Ports Operational Improvements Agreement, it had been under review for a month before being supported unanimously according to an announcement from the FMC.
Parties to the agreement include the West Coast Marine Terminal Operators (MTO), the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and almost every vessel-operating carrier and marine terminal operator serving US West Coast ports
This agreement authorises the parties to discuss, exchange information and reach agreement about: measures to boost the efficiency of operations of West Coast port facilities; reducing congestion at such facilities; inspection, safety and efficient use of equipment; and related port operational matters.
It also authorises the parties to agree on rules, regulations, practices and terms and conditions relating to those matters.
“Given the exigent circumstances related to congestion, this agreement’s effectiveness is timely,” said FMC chairman Mario Cordero. “Through this Agreement, the parties seek to address issues that could help to alleviate the congestion that is plaguing US Pacific Coast ports.
“While the agreement has great potential to achieve this goal, the Commission will closely monitor the activities of the agreement to identify emerging concerns and act quickly should it become necessary.
“This Agreement is an example of supply chain participants cooperating and working together under the authority of the Shipping Act to improve port productivity, innovation, and efficiency.”
The FMC is the federal agency responsible for regulating the US’ international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer.