The US federal Maritime Commission voted at its meeting on Wednesday to take several actions, including ordering submission of certain data and information from the ocean carrier members of the Pacific Ports Operational Improvement Agreement (PPOIA).
FMC directed staff to prepare for consideration and approval, an order to require the ocean carrier members of the PPOIA agreement to submit certain data and information relevant to the FMC’s oversight responsibilities and further assessment of the competitive impact of the agreement.
The PPOIA agreement became effective on April 17, after it was unanimously approved by FMC Commissioners.
The Pacific Ports Operational Improvements Agreement authorizes the parties to discuss, exchange information and reach agreement with respect to measures towards improving the efficiency of operations of West Coast port facilities, reducing congestion at such facilities, inspection, safety and efficient use of equipment, and related port operational matters.
It also authorizes the parties to agree on rules, regulations, practices and terms and conditions relating to the foregoing matters.
FMC also voted to grant United Arab Shipping Company’s petition for an exemption from the requirements of 46 U.S.C. § 40703 so that it may lawfully reduce its tariff rates, charges, classifications, rules or regulations effective upon publication.
Finally, FMC voted to release a staff report entitled: “U.S. Port Congestion & Related International Supply Chain Issues: Causes, Consequences & Challenges.” The report highlights six major themes discussed – investment and planning; chassis availability and related issues; vessel and terminal operations; port drayage and truck turn-time; extended gate hours, PierPASS and congestion pricing; and collaboration and communication.
“The Commission has moved forward with phase II of our study on congestion. By all accounts, congestion is a central question today and will be tomorrow should we as a nation not address the vital needs and concerns of our port gateways and supply chain stakeholders,” FMC Chairman Cordero said.
”The Commission’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system and protect the American shipping public from unlawful, unfair or deceptive practices. Accordingly, release of the staff report on U.S. port congestion facilitates solutions to congestion-related problems, the FMC will continue its mandate to monitor and address potential violations of the Shipping Act.”
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