NAM announces that the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.R. 4996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021, to fortify oversight of the shipping supply chain, according to The Hill.
What it does: The bill includes a number of elements that stand to benefit U.S. shippers and may help ease some of the supply chain challenges facing manufacturers and shippers across the board. It is designed to beef up oversight of ocean carriers that move goods to and from U.S. ports in part through improved data collection and more diligent reporting practices, bars shipping companies from unreasonably declining cargo and prohibits the assessment of excess detention and demurrage fees to surface shippers. The legislation also mandates that shipping companies achieve “minimum service standards that meet the public interest.”
Why it matters: Problems with the supply chain have driven up delivery costs and caused major delays in the production cycle. An update is also long overdue; the last major adjustment for U.S. maritime shipping laws was more than two decades ago.