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Home News FMC establishes new initiatives to support shippers and improve supply chain performance

FMC establishes new initiatives to support shippers and improve supply chain performance

The United States Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has announced three new initiatives aiming to assist shippers with supply chain difficulties, improve legal and regulatory compliance of regulated entities and focus on remedies.

At the direction of the commission chairman Daniel Maffei, FMC will establish a new and permanent International Ocean Shipping Supply Chain Program, re-establish the Export Rapid Response Team, and take "necessary steps" for carriers, marine terminal operators, and operating seaports to employ a designated FMC Compliance Officer.

Each of these initiatives was contained in the Final Recommendations made by Commissioner Rebecca Dye in the Fact Finding 29 Final Report she issued to the Commission in May.

“US export shippers have been particularly challenged by both supply chain disruptions and ocean carrier policies and practices that can sometimes make it difficult to meet deadlines to get cargoes aboard ships in a timely manner. As Commissioner Dye recommends, bringing back the FMC Export Rapid Response Team will provide a dedicated resource for shippers to use in resolving emergency commercial disputes,” stated FMC chairman Maffei.

The commission noted that shippers deal with operational challenges since July 2020 and the sustained cargo volumes overwhelming the capacity of US domestic infrastructure.

The need for a dedicated International Ocean Shipping Supply Chain Program grows out of the recognition that there are longstanding, systemic problems and shortcomings in the networks and facilities serving America’s ocean commerce, according to the FMC statement.

The commission has also announced that the International Ocean Shipping Supply Chain Program is expected to allow them to identify where issues exist in the supply chain and offer proposals for steps that can be taken to remedy impediments to the free flow of shipments.

One of the two most common complaints Commissioner Dye heard, according to the announcement, throughout her recent investigation into the box carrier supply chain was the excessive amounts of demurrage and detention fees shippers and truckers were charged despite the commission having issued a rule on this matter in March 2020.

"Compliance with commission regulations and the statutes it administers is not voluntary or discretionary. Ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, and operating seaports designating an FMC Compliance Officer who reports directly to the senior-most US-based executive will aid in ensuring industry-wide observance of legal and regulatory requirements," pointed out FMC.

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