More on Additional Shipping Reform

More on Additional Shipping Reform

California Democratic Representative John Garamendi is a primary sponsor of The Ocean Shipping Reform Act. He spoke during the Western Food and Ag Issues Summit hosted by Agri-Pulse. While the OSRA is a good first step, Garamendi says there’s more legislation coming to help solve the shipping challenges.

“We have two other bills, one of which deals with the antitrust exemption that the ocean shipping carriers presently have. This exemption goes back almost 25 years. Five major carriers that serve the Pacific, and nine carriers serve both the Atlantic and the Pacific. And they can conspire to set rates, to set fees, availability of cargo and the like. And so, the antitrust bill, which is principally offered by Jimmy Costa from California and me, will deal with that by removing that exemption and eliminating the ability of these carriers to conspire to regulate or withhold the shipping opportunities and the rates that are being charged.”

Ships trying to access U.S. ports have found themselves in long lines. There’s no formal system for prioritizing which ships need quicker access to the ports, which would allow them to jump ahead in the queue.

“But is there a place in that queue for ships that are going to take cargo out of the ports, that is, exports from California and other West Coast ports? The answer is there is no such queue.”

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