Coalition Seeks Senate Action on Shipping Reforms

A coalition of agriculture groups seeks Senate consideration of shipping reforms. Specifically, the group hopes the Senate will consider the House-passed Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021, or similar legislation. Senators Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, and John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, are drafting a bill to address unreasonable ocean carrier practices. In a letter to lawmakers last week, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition said, “The transportation crisis for U.S. agriculture products has become increasingly dire, adding, “it is essential the Senate also pass legislation to allow US agriculture to remain viable in global markets.” A survey recently conducted by the coalition found that, on average, 22 percent of U.S. agriculture foreign sales could not be completed due to ocean carrier practices, including exorbitant freight rates, declined booking requests, unreasonable freight and detention charges, and failure to communicate schedules in a timely manner. The coalition letter adds, “we are losing customers in foreign markets.”

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