President Signs Ocean Shipping Bill

Bill intended to curb inflation and ease the export backlog. 

Bipartisan legislation to improve oversight of ocean shipping was signed by President Biden Thursday. The president had earlier stated he would address “ocean carriers whose price hikes have hurt American families.’ 

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act increases the investigatory authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the agency that oversees ocean shipping, and increases transportation industry practices. The law will allow the FMC to launch probes of the business practices of ocean common carriers, a term that broadly refers to cargo vessels operating on the high seas. 

It will also be able to apply enforcement measures and require the vessels to report to the FMC “total import/export tonnage” each calendar quarter. The law would bar ocean carriers from unreasonably declining opportunities for U.S. exports under new rules to be determined by the FMC. 

The White House stated the law will “make progress reducing costs for families and ensuring fair treatment for American businesses, including farmers and ranchers.” 

The World Shipping Council said it will work with the FMC to implement the bill “in a way that will minimize disruption in our supply chain.” However, it added: “Ocean carriers continue to move record volumes of cargo and have invested heavily in new capacity – America needs to make the same commitment and invest in its landside logistics infrastructure.” 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for Chairman Maffei as he heads the Federal Maritime Commission.
  • For Secretary Buttigieg and officials within the Department of Transportation as they look for ways to eliminate supply chain obstacles.
  • For the president and federal legislators as they attempt to facilitate the transit of imports and exports.

Sources: C-SPAN, The Hill, CNBC, Newsmax


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