US Capital

Senate committee approves Ocean Shipping Reform Act

From Transport Topics.

A U.S. Senate panel easily approved legislation meant to facilitate the flow of freight at the country’s ports.

The Commerce Committee on March 22 advanced by a voice vote the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. The legislation now awaits full Senate consideration.

Sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), the bill targets the function of the Federal Maritime Commission. It would require carriers to issue certain reports to the commission each quarter and would authorize the commission to self-initiate certain investigations partly related to late fees. It also would pave the way for the registration of shipping exchanges, among other provisions.

Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) called on senators to support the bill when it’s scheduled for a vote. “These ocean shipping companies are making record profits,” Cantwell said at the hearing.

“They have made $150 billion in profits in 2021, and ocean import volume for the first quarter of this year is forecast to increase by more than 30%. Our farmers don’t want special treatment. They just don’t want to be exploited for the sake of record profits,” she added.

The House recently passed its version of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, during its consideration of a semiconductor manufacturing measure.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.