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FMC Briefed on Supply Chain Innovation Team Launch and Seeks Comment on Two Rulemakings

April 20, 2016

NR 16-06

Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary, (202) 523-5725

Commissioner Rebecca Dye briefed her fellow Commissioners this morning on the upcoming May 3rd launch of the FMC’s Supply Chain Innovation Team Initiative. The 2-day inaugural team meeting, held at the FMC’s Washington DC headquarters, will bring together industry leaders from across the international ocean transportation supply chain. Three small multi-industry innovation teams will begin discussion on supply chain challenges by identifying actionable process improvements. Industry participants include ports, terminal operators, major shippers, ocean transportation intermediaries, port labor, railroads, truckers, and chassis providers. Academic advisors will include John’s Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab, the Transportation Institute at the University of Denver, the New York Shipping Exchange, Strategic Mobility 21, MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, and others.

"The goal of the 36 participants in our three innovation teams will be to develop actionable commercial improvements, and move beyond discussion to action," Commissioner Dye said. She described the FMC’s role as that of a catalyst in the process, and thanked the participants and many academic and industry advisors and trade associations for their support of the initiative.

Chairman Cordero remarked, "I am pleased to move forward with our next step in addressing congestion and the impact on the supply chain. The FMC continues to review and update its rules to support the movement of oceanborne commerce. Mitigating impacts to the supply chain requires substantive engagement with both affected industry stakeholders and cargo transportation experts.

Optional Method for Filing Carrier and MTO Agreements: In an effort to continually modernize and automate its business processes and in direct response to industry requests for an automated agreement filing process, the Commission also voted to issue a direct final rule that would permit optional electronic filing of ocean common carrier and marine terminal operator agreements. In connection with the rule, staff presented a newly developed web application that will facilitate the electronic agreement filing option under the rule, as well as support a significant upgrade to the Commission’s existing "FMC Online Agreement Library." The web-based agreement filing system and the upgraded Online Agreement Library will be publicly available when the direct final rule goes in to effect.

Chairman Cordero stated, "I am very pleased with the step the Commission has taken to make filing agreements with the agency simpler via our new web-based option. This development is the product of the much needed investment we have been making in the Agency’s IT infrastructure and it is going to achieve greater efficiencies not only for our staff, but for the industry and the public at large."

Modernizing Rules of Practice and Procedure: Finally, in its ongoing work to review and modernize its Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Commission voted to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update and reorganize several subparts of its rules to better reflect the chronology of a typical adjudication, and to extensively revise the subpart on how hearings are conducted to clarify rules on the presentation of evidence in Commission proceedings.

The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.