Improved data sharing could avoid container bottlenecks at US ports

This week, the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) revealed plans to make a major change to the collection and return of containers in an effort to ease future bottlenecks.

After a decade of fact-finding missions, with the help of industry groups and FMC’s Supply Chain Innovations team, Commissioner Rebecca Dye has published proposals that will impact the ports of Los Angeles and New York, calling for feedback from the shipping community by September 15.

“We must prepare now to deal with the next surge in demand for cargo by eliminating bottlenecks and processes that undermine the efficiency of international shipping in the United States,” she said.

“Based on my experience with innovation teams, I am convinced that focused engagement between industry leaders, rather than organizational solutions, is a better way to develop business practices that address critical supply chain bottlenecks and improve performance.”

In essence, propositions ( aims to increase clarity and information sharing of marine terminal operators (MTOs) and shipping lines with supply chain partners.

Ocean carriers and money transfer companies are required to provide shippers with electronic notice that the container is available for pickup; With free time not starting until the fund is available and available, the free time clock stops hampering it.

The proposals say that “the current container return, early return date and receiving practices create bottlenecks, and contribute to overcrowding and unreasonable demurrage and detention.”

Post-pandemic volume increases have led to empty boxes piling up at US gates, with carriers requiring shippers and truck drivers to pay a daily fee for unloadings, despite port congestion making returning containers on specific dates impossible in some cases.

The US government introduced the Maritime Shipping Reform Act of 2022 in an effort to address these perceived grievances imposed by money transfer companies and carriers.

However, the US is still out of what was the recent global decline in D&D fees according to Container xChange, which found that only 11 of 65 international gateways surveyed were still charging D&D fees above 2020 levels — seven in United State.

FMC President Daniel Maffei said he wanted to change the “practice” of using D&D as a “revenue center, as opposed to an intended incentive to pick up goods and return equipment.”

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