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International Shipping
World Shipping Council vows action on Federal Maritime Commission concerns
Date:2021-01-13 Readers:
THE World Shipping Council (WSC) declared shortages of labour and equipment have contributed to supply chain problems, reports IHS Media.

The WSC's statement comes after the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has faced scrutiny for port congestion. Meanwhile, some of the world's largest shipping lines are taking steps to improve cargo movement.

WSC CEO John Butler wrote to FMC commissioners Carl Bentzel and Daniel Maffei, declaring carriers are employing all available vessel capacity and vessels should be repositioned to the trades with the highest demand.

Butler also stated they should work with supply chain partners to reposition empty equipment for the carriage of import and export cargoes.

Meanwhile, Maersk Line is working with shipper organisations to mutually develop creative solutions to address the congestion problems.

The container carrier and its sister company APM Terminals Pier 400 in Los Angeles are collaborating to develop more dual transactions in which a trucker can deliver an export load or empty container return while picking up an import load in the same trip.

"65 per cent of Pier 400's gate transactions are dual transactions, and the goal is to increase this, enabling higher productivity trips for harbor truckers. Pier 400 has also offered late-night Friday gates and Saturday gates based on customer and trucker needs during the peak season," said Maersk.

Meanwhile, Mr Butler has cited shortages of labour at marine terminals and inland distribution warehouses, extended use of containers, truck shortages, and no shows by shippers as factors beyond carriers' control.

The WSC controls 90 per cent of the global container fleet and the commission agrees that the precipitating factor involved in these issues is unprecedented and that sustained volume of imports entering the US since the Covid crisis lockdown was lifted.

"Each supply chain player is seeking to adjust its operations to address the fact that the system is simply not designed to deal with these cargo volumes," said Mr Butler.

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