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Commissioner Rebecca Dye Proposes Reforms to International Ocean Supply Chain Practices: Empty Container Return, Early Return Date, and Container Pickup (Notice of Container Availability)

Thursday, August 24, 2023 11:01 AM | Karla Sanchez (Administrator)

Posted July 26, 2023

Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye is proposing to reform three practices of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Port of New York and New Jersey that relate to container returns, earliest return date, and container pickup (notice of availability). This initiative builds on over ten years of work by Commissioner Dye with Fact Finding Investigations, Federal Maritime Commission Supply Chain Innovation Teams, and industry groups. The focus of this initiative is on three practices that degrade cargo fluidity and contribute to supply chain bottlenecks and unreasonable demurrage and detention charges.

Commissioner Dye stated, “Currently, these three practices are impediments to U.S. international ocean supply chain performance.  We must prepare now to handle the next surge in cargo demand by eliminating bottlenecks and ad hoc processes that undermine the efficiency of the U.S. international ocean freight delivery system.”

Commissioner Dye stressed, “Based on my experience with Innovation Teams, I am convinced that focused engagement among industry leaders, rather than regulatory solutions, is a better way to develop commercial practices that address critical supply chain bottlenecks and improve the performance of the U.S. international ocean supply chain.”

The reforms to current proposals, based on the twin goals of clarity and predictability, are designed to mitigate the adverse effects of current practices.

Commissioner Dye encourages reactions or questions regarding these proposals from the shipping public.  These may be submitted to Commissioner Dye through John Moran at Commissioner Dye hopes to have all responses by September 15, 2023, in preparation for convening FMC Supply Chain Innovation Teams this fall. Please note that any submissions will be treated as publicly available information under applicable rules and regulations.


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