Commission Approves Final Rule and Receives Briefings - Federal Maritime Commission
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Commission Approves Final Rule and Receives Briefings

December 14, 2016

The Federal Maritime Commission today held its final meeting of 2016 where Commissioners approved a rule governing presenting evidence to the Commission, were briefed about progress of the Supply Chain Innovation Initiative, and discussed the pending “THE Alliance” agreement.

During the open session of the meeting, Commissioner Rebecca Dye, who has led the Supply Chain Innovation Initiative since its launch in May, reported on the successes and findings of her Phase One import teams as well as her plans for what supply chain systems issues she will next address. Dye shared that “Phase Two” of the initiative will focus on exports and will be launched in early 2017. Dye announced that three port executives will anchor the new teams:

  • Roger Guenther, Executive Director, Port Houston
  • Jim Newsome, President & CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority
  • John Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer, The Northwest Seaport Alliance

Commissioner Dye thanked the three dozen Phase One team members for their work. In particular, she applauded the contributions of Eugene Seroka of the Port of Los Angeles; Bethann Rooney of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; and Noel Hacegaba from the Port of Long Beach.

“I want to thank Commissioner Dye for her hard work and dedication to this project. As a Commission, we first turned our attention to port congestion in 2014 and it is both notable and commendable that in such a short period of time, we have moved from information gathering to exploring a potential pilot project to address some of the most persistent impediments to container flow,” said Mario Cordero, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. ” I am encouraged by the private sector’s ability to come together on this initiative started by the FMC and led by Commissioner Dye. I am especially excited by the idea of a national portal in which key, discrete information is shared with key supply chain system participants in an effort to improve port efficiencies and increase the economic competitiveness of the United States.”

The first group of supply chain teams determined that creating a national portal providing timely, critical information about supply chain systems activities is an immediate way to increase efficiencies involved in moving international commerce and can give the United States an economic competitive advantage. Dye advised the Commission that the Phase One teams will remain constituted and available for consultation. As part of their work, the Phase Two teams will be asked to continue to consider and refine the national information portal infrastructure project.

The other item considered in open session was approval of the Final Rule in Docket No. 16-08 on Presentation of Evidence in Commission Adjudications. This rule reorganizes, simplifies, and clarifies the language in Part 502, which governs procedures and practices related to adjudications before the Federal Maritime Commission, including the admissibility of evidence.

The Commission met in closed session to provide an opportunity for Commissioners to address any final questions or matters related to THE Alliance before votes were due later in the week.