March ’22 at-a-glance … supply chain

Ocean Shipping Reform Act advances in Senate

On March 3, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology heard from Daniel Maffei, chair of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as it considers the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA). Passed by the House in late 2021, the Act seeks to modernize the Shipping Act of 1984 and the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998.

According to Maffei, “While the FMC can do some needed rulemaking without enacting new legislation, updating our statute would remove any ambiguity about Congress’ priorities on matters such as detention and demurrage, export issues and ocean shipping contract reform.” Following Maffei’s comments, the committee advanced the bill for mark-up, a positive next step in its progress. NAFEM continues to advocate for passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and improved management of gates at the Long Beach and Los Angeles, California ports. See Aplifying Members’ Voices for details.

DOT funds port improvement projects

Nearly $450 million for port-related projects is available in 2022 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) to help ports expand capacity and improve intermodal connections. This amount is nearly double what was available in 2021. Overall, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $17 billion in U.S. ports and waterways.