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FMC Investigates Operational Solutions for Ports

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By The Maritime Executive 03-31-2020 06:32:30

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has issued an order authorizing Commissioner Rebecca Dye to identify operational solutions to cargo delivery system challenges related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Order states: “Recent global events have only highlighted the economic urgency of responsive port and terminal operations to the effectiveness of the United States international freight delivery system. Given the Commission’s mandate to ensure an efficient and economic transportation system for ocean commerce, the Commission has a clear and compelling responsibility to actively respond to current challenges impacting the global supply chain and the American economy. Accordingly, the Commission has determined there is a compelling need to convene new Supply Chain Innovation Teams to address these challenges.”

The Order authorizes Dye as the Investigating Officer for “Fact Finding No. 29 International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement.” It also allows her to form one or more FMC Supply Chain Innovation Teams to support the efforts.

“The United States depends on reliable international ocean freight delivery to support the economic security of our country,” says Dye. “The maritime supply chain extends upstream and downstream from the ports and closely located logistics centers to American exporters and importers and keeping the system functioning is a priority of national importance.  This initiative is an effort by the Commission to do everything we can to eliminate pressing problems in the freight delivery system.”

Dye will engage industry leaders who represent all facets of the ocean cargo system including public port authorities, marine terminal operators, beneficial cargo owners, ocean transportation intermediaries, liner shipping companies, drayage trucking companies, longshore labor representatives, rail officials and chassis providers. She will start by interviewing port directors to determine what steps they can identify to mitigate critical supply chain challenges.

“Small and medium-sized shippers are especially affected by a lack of cargo storage space and are running out of options of where to send shipments once offloaded,” she said. “The Pacific Northwest Seaport Alliance has identified sites in their complex that can be used to stage cargo and containers off terminals. I applaud their initiative. We are calling on everyone engaged in moving ocean cargo to do what they can in this effort,” said Dye.

Individuals wishing to provide information to Dye may do so by writing to ff29@fmc.gov.