U.S. government issues order on competitive shipping prices

United States
Published:  14 July, 2021
credit: Ronan Furutada

The Biden Administration issued a sweeping Executive Order in the week of July 5, which directs regulators to address consolidation and competitive pricing in the ocean shipping and railroad industries in the U.S.

The Administration, in the Executive Order, instructs the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and the Surface Transportation Board to combat what it calls a pattern of consolidation and aggressive pricing that has made it onerously expensive for American companies to transport goods to market (including hides, skins, leather and leather products). The Administration says the relatively small number of major players in the ocean shipping trade and in the U.S. freight rail business has enabled companies to charge unreasonable fees. Specifically, the order encourages the FMC to "vigorously enforce the prohibition of unjust and unreasonable practices in the context of detention and demurrage pursuant to the Shipping Act" and asks the FMC to consider further rulemaking to improve detention and demurrage practices. The order also urges the FMC to request that its new National Shipper Advisory Committee develops recommendations on these issues. More details are available here.

Source: Leather and Hide Council of America