The United States Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has launched an initiative comprising representatives from 34 companies to come up with solutions aimed at supply chain improvements that would help alleviate the US port congestion problems.
FMC’s Supply Chain Innovation Team Initiative, led by Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye, would be working over the next two-days in teams to develop process innovations that will “improve the reliability, resilience, and competitiveness of America’s global supply chain,” FMC said.
The teams are membered by representatives from the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York and New Jersey, chassis businesses, shippers, logistics firms along with labor unions.
Aside to labor talks at US West Coast ports that brought the ports to a virtual standstill in 2015, a report released by the FMC last year identified cargo growth, investment constraints, the introduction of larger ships, and ocean carrier alliances as the major causes of congestion at the nation’s container ports.
“The innovation team approach focuses on obstacles to the smooth flow of cargo in our USD 980 billion annual export and import containerized trade,” said Dye.
“We are not offering an ‘FMC solution’ to congestion-related problems. Rather, we are acting as a catalyst for committed teams of major company leaders as they exchange ideas and debate creative proposals for supply chain improvements. The nonpublic, small team effort is conducive to robust engagement among team members.”
Commissioner Dye emphasized that the FMC’s initiative is intended to complement and accelerate other on-going efforts, such as those underway in Los Angeles, Long Beach and at the Port of New York & New Jersey, and to stimulate similar efforts elsewhere.
“This is not a ‘quick fix’ to complex, systemic supply chain congestion problems, but I am confident the approach we’re taking will produce beneficial results,” Dye remarked.“We expect our teams to move beyond a discussion of problems to a plan of action.”