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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

Commissioner Bentzel hosts two roundtables in California, meets with Supply Chain Stakeholders and Federal and State Officials
Posted: September 16, 2021

In early September, Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel met with California-based shippers and supply chain stakeholders, in addition to convening two roundtables on supply chain issues, to explore opportunities for greater efficiencies. The roundtables were convened at the Port of Oakland, and at the Port of Long Beach, which also jointly… Read More »

Statement by Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on Commission Vote on Demurrage and Detention and Notice of Proposed Rule Making
Posted: September 15, 2021

Last week, the Commission voted to potentially consider further industry guidance on reasonable practices governing the issuance of demurrage and detention charges. Specifically, FMC staff was charged with the development of an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that would seek industry views on whether the Commission should require common… Read More »

Statement by Commissioner Carl Bentzel on Concerns About the Availability of Ocean Shipping to the Chemical Supply Chain and Related Impacts on the U.S. Manufacturing Base
Posted: September 2, 2021

During a recent meeting with chemical distributors, Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel heard concerns about systemic reductions for hazardous materials transportation via ocean. Specifically, distributors source chemical products from manufacturers overseas and sell them to diverse customers in the United States across all industries that use these chemicals to produce a… Read More »

FMC Commissioner Carl Bentzel Convenes Port Operation and Supply Chain Transparency Roundtables in California

During the week of August 30, Federal Maritime Commission Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel is convening a series of roundtable discussions in Northern and Southern California with Congressman Alan Lowenthal, industry leaders, shippers and the State of California. The discussions will focus on the myriad of supply chain challenges such as… Read More »