February ’22 at-a-glance … supply chain

Expert warns proposed Act may worsen supply chain congestion; sponsors disagree

In anticipation of the Senate beginning to consider the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), passed by the House passed late in 2021, John Butler, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council, urged a cautious approach. “Ocean carriers and their customers want the same things: a predictable and efficient supply chain that keeps goods and transportation assets moving. But when things get in the way – in this case COVID and its related U.S. import boom – it does not solve the problem for Congress to legislate things back to the way they were. Congress might just as well pass a law outlawing COVID. We urge the Senate to take a more careful and targeted approach with its bill and to follow the physician’s creed of ‘first, do no harm.’”

Conversely, the Act’s sponsors say it “ensures a more competitive global ocean shipping industry, protects American businesses and consumers from price gouging, and establishes reciprocal trade opportunities to reduce the U.S.’ longstanding trade imbalance with export-driven countries like China.”

Feedback on detention and demurrage billing practices requested

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) seeking feedback on a potential regulation on detention and demurrage billing practices. Written comments are due March 17. NAFEM will submit comments based on member input. For information or contribute comments, contact Charlie Souhrada.