Jeff Berman, Group News Editor · June 14, 2022
Following its passage by the U.S. Senate in late March, the U.S. House of Representatives last night followed suit, passing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) of 2022 by a 369-42 margin. The bill is now headed to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law, and will represent the first revamping of U.S. ocean shipping laws going back to 1998.
Feedback on OSRA from the World Shipping Council (WSC) had a different take on what factors are causing ongoing supply chain snarls OSRA is taking steps to address.
WSC officials said that throughout the pandemic, ocean carriers have gone “all-out” to keep goods moving, deploying every available vessel and container, as well as increasing sailings, and investing in the future. It highlighted that in 2021 carriers ordered 555 vessels worth $42.5 billion, with 208 vessels worth $18.4 billion ordered year-to-date in 2022.
“But as long as America’s ports, railyards, and warehouses remain overloaded and unable to cope with the increased trade levels, vessels will remain stuck outside ports to the detriment of exporters, as well as exporters,” said WSC officials. “”We are appalled by the continued mischaracterization of the industry by U.S. government representatives, and concerned about the disconnect between hard data and inflammatory rhetoric. The 22 (not nine) international carriers that serve the American people, industry and government on the Asia-United States trade are part of the global supply chain that has built this country, importing and exporting food, medicine, electronics, chemicals, and everything else we depend on. The increased rate levels we have seen over the past years are a function of demand outstripping supply and landside congestion, exacerbated by pandemic-related disruption. Until the import congestion is remedied, export congestion will persist. Ocean carriers continue to move record volume of cargo and have invested heavily in new capacity—America needs to make the same commitment and invest in its landside logistics infrastructure.”
(read entire report)