Leading Retailers Welcome Oversight of Ocean Carriers

Jess Dankert, vice president, supply chain at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), issued the following statement supporting the House passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (HR 4996):
“Retailers applaud the House passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021. The act would put in place common sense reforms to address long-standing issues in the maritime shipping industry, which have been further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The current global supply chain disruption has spotlighted the need for shipper protections, as carriers have frequently eschewed contracted rates and service requirements in favor of soaring rates and punitive fees.
“Additionally, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act will bolster the Federal Maritime Commission’s work providing oversight of ocean carriers and carrier alliances—sending the message that fair and open supply chains are essential to the American economy. This is exactly the message retailers need policy makers to press as all interested parties work to untangle the supply chain congestion and remove barriers to the movement of goods.
“Increased consolidation in the ocean shipping industry and the growth of carrier alliances has impeded competition, tightened capacity, and helped drive prices to record highs.  This act will ensure that American businesses have fair access to ocean shipping capacity, and protection from unreasonable fees and retaliatory measures.
“Retailers remain active partners working with policy makers on solutions to current supply chain challenges. We look forward to seeing this legislation passed in the Senate and signed into law by the president.”

RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.
RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
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