Maritime Commission Launches Resource For Navigating Shipping Reform
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has established a website outlining its planned activities to enforce the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA). Signed into law in June, the legislation implements common-sense reforms to address long-standing issues in the maritime shipping industry that have exacerbated supply chain disruptions, particularly during the pandemic.
PPAI has advocated for maritime shipping reform for some time, and the Association worked with coalition partners from numerous industries to push the legislation across the finish line. It was a key point of discussion during Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) 2022.
“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act was introduced because ocean carriers have been price gouging to capitalize on the supply chain problems, which enables them to make record profits while incentivizing inefficiency,” says Maurice Norris, PPAI public affairs manager. “Meanwhile, importers in our industry and others are bearing some of the highest costs on record for the worst shipping services ever encountered.
“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 empowers the FMC to implement common-sense reforms to address long-standing issues in the maritime shipping industry. Even better, the FMC is seeking public opinion on some of the enforcement mechanisms.”
The FMC website catalogs actions that the commission has taken to comply with requirements established by OSRA. The site features details on its rulemaking activities, including seeking public comments on shipping congestion and its data collection initiatives.
The site also includes industry advisories and reports, and compiles related news.
OSRA enjoyed bipartisan support during its passage through congress and President Biden signed the bill into law on June 16. The legislation tackles significant issues facing cargo owners and other supply chain stakeholders. These include:
- Port congestion has led to a significant increase in these fees for cargo owners and truckers. The Federal Maritime Commission had previously published its “Interpretive Rule on Detention and Demurrage” but as only guidance, it is not followed by ocean carriers or marine terminals. OSRA22 formalizes the rule and defines the parameters for these charges.
- The legislation revised key provisions of the Shipping Act, which hasn’t been updated in more than two decades, to remain applicable to today’s market reality.
- Changes in the market over the past 20 years include the creation of the carrier alliances, contraction of the number of carriers in the market, changes to chassis management and more.