Carl W. Bentzel - Federal Maritime Commission
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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 Carl W. Bentzel Following The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) Panel “The Supply Chain Nexus: A Forward-Thinking Conversation with, US DOT, FMC, and STB”
Posted: October 24, 2023

“I thank the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) for providing Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Marty Oberman, Port and Supply Chain Envoy General Steve Lyons (U.S. Army, Retired), and myself the opportunity to participate on a panel at the 2023 NITL Transportation Conference where we had a lively and wide-ranging… Read More »

Statement of Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on the Release of the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI) Request for Information (RFI)
Posted: August 23, 2023

“I am pleased to provide supply chain stakeholders and interested members of the public the opportunity to consider and comment on the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI) Recommendations and Views Report via the Request for Information (RFI) questions posted on August 16, 2023, which is available on and the… Read More »

Statement of Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on the Extended Weekend Gates at SSA Terminals in Oakland, Seattle, and Tacoma
Posted: June 1, 2023

“I was recently briefed by SSA on an innovative approach that their terminals in Oakland, Seattle, and Tacoma are rolling out next month to track and analyze the potential of providing extended weekend hours for shippers. SSA explained that shippers will have the option to schedule a time during the… Read More »

Statement by Commissioner Bentzel on MTDI FMC Commission Meeting
Posted: May 3, 2023

I want to thank the Chairman for providing me the time and opportunity to take on the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI). This has been and continues to be a rewarding endeavor. Before, I begin I’d like to thank the many staff who assisted and contributed to this ongoing initiative…. Read More »