Will the FMC step up and help with ongoing supply chain issues?

Recommendations to address ongoing port and supply chain congestion were on the list of topics addressed during the open session of a Federal Maritime Commission meeting held on Wednesday July 28th 2021. Commissioner Rebecca Dye provided the commission with interim recommendations to address current conditions contributing to inefficiencies and congestion in the freight delivery system.

Dye’s eight interim recommendations are aimed at minimising barriers to private party enforcement of the Shipping Act, clarifying commission and industry processes, encouraging shippers, truckers, and other stakeholders to assist commission enforcement efforts, and bolstering the ability of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services to facilitate fair and fast dispute resolution.

Commissioner Carl Bentzel provided a summary of his examination of container and chassis manufacturing and the availability of intermodal equipment to support US international containerised trade. The commissioner noted that congestion and increased demand for equipment has led to shortages of chassis and containers in the United States and other nations as well. This demand has led to increased prices for new intermodal equipment. Concern was also raised about the extreme dominance China has in the manufacturing of containers.

Both Congress and president Biden have discussed in recent weeks plans to make the FMC more powerful to get to the bottom of today’s supply chain crunch that has harmed Importers, exporters and retailers alike.

With Escalating Ocean freight costs across all trade lanes, severe port congestion, disruption to vessel schedules, rail congestion along with a shortage of drivers, truck power and available empty containers, there is no immediate fix in sight. Horizon’s recommendation to all customers is to maximise loading capacity and to build additional buffers into supply chain lead times. Plan ahead and book early.