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NMPF Presses for Supply Chain Progress

November 8, 2022

NMPF and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) leadership met with Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Daniel Maffei on Oct.13 to discuss the implementation of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and ongoing shipping challenges. The organizations touched on the results of a recent NMPF-USDEC membership survey and the need for further FMC actions to improve shipping flow dynamics, as well as relayed information on persistent backlogs at key ports nationwide.

The organizations followed the meeting with comments filed to the maritime commission Oct. 21, giving input to the agency as it starts rulemaking on prohibiting ocean carriers from unreasonably refusing to deal or negotiate with respect to vessel space accommodations. Given the severe shipping challenges that many dairy exporters have dealt with in the past two years, NMPF sees these proposed rules as a positive step. NMPF supports the agency’s stance that ocean carriers should outline their export strategies, which would balance negotiations and allow shippers to better understand how carriers operate.

Finally, California Governor Gavin Newsom of California on Sept. 30 signed Assembly Bill 2406 into law, placing new limits on the ability of ocean carriers to charge detention and demurrage fees to exporters and truck drivers that were incurred outside of a shipper’s control. NMPF and USDEC support the bill, sending letters in March and August to California Assembly Transportation Committee leadership and Newsom, respectively.