International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement; Order, 6263-6264 [2016-02189]
[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 24 (Friday, February 5, 2016)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-02189]
FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION
International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement; Order
Pursuant to the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. 40101 et seq.
(Shipping Act), the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC or Commission)
regulates the U.S. international ocean transportation system that
supports the transportation of goods by water. The purposes of the
Shipping Act include the requirements to ``provide an efficient and
economic transportation system in the ocean commerce of the United
States that is, insofar as possible, in harmony with, and responsive
to, international shipping practices,'' and also ``to promote the
growth and development of United States exports through competitive and
efficient ocean transportation and by placing a greater reliance on the
In carrying out its broad responsibilities under the Shipping Act
with respect to ocean common carriers, U.S. ports, marine terminal
operators, ocean transportation intermediaries and the American
exporters and importers they serve, the Commission has developed an
understanding of and an expertise in evaluating the U.S. international
supply chain. As the premier competition agency with oversight
responsibilities for the United States foreign ocean transportation
system, the Commission has extensive experience with global maritime
and marine terminal innovation and efficiency issues.
Maintaining the effectiveness and reliability of America's global
supply chain is critically important to the Nation's continued economic
vitality. Approximately $980 billion of containerized ocean commerce
moves through U.S. ports annually. Unfortunately, congestion and
related bottlenecks at ports and other points in the Nation's supply
chain have become a serious risk to the growth of the U.S. economy, job
growth, and to our Nation's competitive position in the world. Past
congestion at major U.S. ports has highlighted the impact of congestion
on the U.S. economy. As a result, the U.S. economy suffered billions of
dollars in losses to the supply chain.
In addition, congestion problems contributed to hundreds of
millions of dollars in losses for U.S. agricultural exporters including
poultry and meat farmers. Perishable fruit and vegetable exporters
suffered when their cargo was not loaded onto ships and sent overseas
within specific time frames.
Although the congestion crisis has receded, unresolved supply chain
problems that could produce new challenges remain.
In response to those events, and the desire of affected parties to
find ways to prevent or mitigate similar future occurrences, the
Commission hosted four regional port forums during the fall of 2014, in
San Pedro, CA (West Coast Port Forum), Baltimore, MD (Mid-Atlantic and
Northeast Port Forum), Charleston, SC (South Atlantic Port Forum) and
New Orleans, LA (Gulf Coast Port Forum). The forums brought together
port officials, ocean carriers, trucking and warehousing service
providers, beneficial cargo owners, marine terminal operators,
stevedoring companies, ocean transportation intermediaries, and port
labor to discuss and offer ideas to address port congestion. The
comments and suggestions offered at those forums were summarized and
developed in an FMC report entitled ``U.S. Port Congestion & Related
International Supply Chain Issues: Causes, Consequences and
Challenges'' that was released in July 2015.
The report identified six major themes from the port forums:
Investment and planning; chassis availability and related issues; port
drayage and truck turn times; extended gate hours, PierPASS, and
congestion pricing; vessel and terminal operations; and supply chain
planning, collaboration, and communication. Some of these topics
involve longer-term issues such as investment and planning. Others
focus on short and medium-term concerns. All of them, however, are at
the heart of current efforts by various groups to develop the flexible,
resilient and reliable systems necessary for ensuring well-functioning
international supply chains.
The Commission has also advanced port and marine terminal efforts
to improve supply chain efficiency by expediting the implementation of
port and terminal amendments aimed at enhancing the efficient flow of
cargo. For example, several port and marine terminal operator
agreements on file with the Commission that cover the Pacific Coast
ports, commit the parties to exploring measures for achieving
improvements with regard to congestion, efficiency, fluidity, and other
* The Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Infrastructure and
Environmental Programs Cooperative Working Agreement (FMC No.
201219), West Coast MTO Agreement (FMC No. 201143), Pacific Ports
Operational Improvements Agreement (FMC No. 201227), Ocean Carrier
Equipment Management Association (FMC No. 202-011284), and Los
Angeles/Long Beach Port Terminal Operator Administrative and
Implementation Agreement (FMC No. 201178).
Given the economic importance of reliable port and terminal
operations to the effectiveness of the United States international
supply chain, and the Commission's mandate to ensure an efficient and
economic transportation system for its ocean commerce, the Commission
has a clear and compelling
responsibility to actively assist efforts to improve the effectiveness
of the global supply chain.
Therefore it is ordered, That, pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 41302, 40302,
41101 to 41109, 41301 to 41309, and 40104, and 46 CFR 502.281 et seq.,
Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye engage supply chain stakeholders in public
or non-public discussions to identify commercial solutions to certain
unresolved supply chain issues that interfere with the smooth operation
of the U.S. international supply chain, focusing on the San Pedro Bay
ports at Los Angeles and Long Beach.
It is further ordered, That, the Commissioner form a supply chain
innovation team, composed of leaders from all commercial sectors of the
U.S. international supply chain, to develop commercial solutions to
port congestion and related supply chain challenges.
It is further ordered, That, the Commissioner provide a preliminary
report and periodic updates to the Commission on the results of efforts
undertaken by this Order.
It is further ordered, That, the Commissioner have full authority
under 46 CFR 502.281 to 502.291, to perform such duties as may be
necessary in accordance with U.S. law and Commission regulations. The
Commissioner will be assisted by staff members as may be assigned by
It is further ordered, That, this Proceeding be discontinued upon
the acceptance of a final report and possible recommendations by the
Commissioner, unless otherwise ordered by the Commission; and
It is finally ordered, That, notice of this Order be published in
the Federal Register.
By The Commission.
Karen V. Gregory,
[FR Doc. 2016-02189 Filed 2-4-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6730-01-P