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Carl W. Bentzel

Counsel: John Young
Contact Information
Phone: 202-523-5723 Email:


Commissioner Carl Bentzel was nominated by President Trump on June 12, 2019, to a term expiring on June 30, 2024. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination on November 21, 2019, and he was sworn into office on December 9, 2019.

Prior to his appointment at the Federal Maritime Commission, Commissioner Bentzel created and established a consulting services company where he represented clients on regulatory and legislative issues within the areas of transportation, energy and other areas of federal regulatory oversight. From 2004-2014, Commissioner Bentzel served as Vice President and head of the federal advocacy division of a full-scale public relations firm, the DCI Group.

Prior to working in the private sector, Mr. Bentzel served the public sector for ten years as a Senate professional committee staffer including, most recently, as Senior Democratic Counsel of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He moved to his role in the Senate after spending four years on the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he served as Counsel for Maritime Policy.

Commissioner Bentzel’s primary areas of responsibility on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation were issues on maritime transportation; rail, surface and pipeline transportation; energy transportation and hazardous materials; and homeland security in these areas.  While working in the Senate, Commissioner Bentzel served as one of the principals in crafting the Maritime Security Act of 1996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and in 2002, after the attacks on 9/11, the requirements mandated for maritime security through the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.  He also dealt with matters impacting economic regulation of rail and surface industries before the Surface Transportation Board, and a variety of energy related regulatory issues.

For his efforts in developing and negotiating passage of Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, Commissioner Bentzel was awarded the Coast Guard’s Medal for Meritorious Public Service and the Maritime Security Council’s Man of the Year award.  Mr. Bentzel is also the author of the chapter on Port Security within McGraw-Hill’s Handbook on Homeland Security.

Commissioner Bentzel earned his Bachelor of Arts from St. Lawrence University, his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama, and his Master of Laws from the Admiralty Law Institute, Tulane University.

Related Articles

Statement of Commissioner Bentzel Summarizing Remarks Delivered to the International Association of Ports and Harbors on the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative and the need for Continuing Engagement on National & Global Data Standards
Posted: May 20, 2022

Commissioner Carl Bentzel addressed the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) in Vancouver, B.C. at its “World Ports Conference 2022” on May 16, 2022, where he spoke about the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI) he has led since last December. The remarks were delivered at the “Resilience of Ports… Read More »

Statement by Carl W. Bentzel Before the Surface Transportation Board on Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Services
Posted: April 29, 2022

FMC Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel testified before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board at its April 26, 2022, hearing “Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service” where he cited the critical need for expanding intermodal rail services to keep pace with the surging maritime container volumes. “Unfortunately, the railroads have not been… Read More »

Statement by Commissioners Sola and Bentzel on Demurrage and Detention Relief by Ocean Carriers and Marine Terminal Operators due to the Expeditors Cybersecurity Incident
Posted: April 13, 2022

We understand that the supply chain is competitive, interdependent, and complex. In our everchanging world, the shipping industry is constantly working through major operational and cargo volume challenges to make itself more efficient all the while maintaining the integrity, security, and fluidity of the supply chain. On February 20, 2022,… Read More »

Statement by Commissioner Bentzel On the release of the Assessment of the People’s Republic of China’s Control of Container and Intermodal Chassis Manufacturing
Posted: March 30, 2022

Today, FMC Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel released his Assessment of the People’s Republic of China’s Control of Container and Intermodal Chassis Manufacturing. The report was a year in the making and synthesizes interviews, research, and market observation. “This report is important in what it represents—that as a country our maritime… Read More »