FMC launches new initiatives to combat supply chain woes

US supply chain

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has announced new initiatives to provide enhanced assistance to US shippers and focus on remedies to supply chain issues.

The Commission 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.

The new initiatives are the result of a more than two year investigation led by Commissioner Rebecca Dye into the international ocean supply chain issues derived from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” said FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei.

“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.”

FMC has acknowledged the need for a dedicated International Ocean Shipping Supply Chain Program as America’s ocean commerce has faced longstanding systemic problems and shortcomings in the networks and facilities.

The International Ocean Shipping Supply Chain Program will allow the Commission to identify where issues currently exist and offer proposals for steps that can be taken to remedy impediments to the free flow of shipments.

Earlier last month, FMC introduced new requirements for three global ocean carrier alliances – 2M, OCEAN, and THE – and each of their member companies to provide pricing and capacity information, to assess carrier behaviour and marketplace competitiveness.

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