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Commissioner Dye's Statement on Supply Chain Innovation Team

February 18, 2016

Next Steps

Since last summer, the Commission has been considering various approaches to build on the port congestion and supply chain FMC Forums held around the country.

We issued a report last July addressing the information we received from our Forums and additional port congestions and supply chain perspectives.

The questions for us were: Should we become more involved in port congestion or global supply chain challenges? And "If so, how?"

FMC Is Uniquely Qualified

The Federal Maritime Commission’s broad programmatic responsibilities make us uniquely qualified among all Federal agencies to help industry leaders develop solutions for seaport congestion and related international supply chain challenges.

The Commission’s organic statutory authorities give us authority over ocean carriers, ports, marine terminals, ocean transportation intermediaries (freight forwarders and NVOCCs).

Enforcement of the competition regime of the Shipping Act of 1984, give us an appreciation of the commercial needs American shippers, exporters and importers.

And recently, trucking interests have prevailed on the Commission to become more involved in seaport congestion.

How To Add Value

And so, although we felt an obligation to act, we did not conclude that the international challenge of supply chain bottlenecks would be improved by additional government regulation.

Nor did we conclude that we should look over the shoulders of our well-respected and well-regarded port officials and attempt to duplicate or reconsider the tough decisions they are making in their respective port complexes to combat port congestion.

We have concluded that the Commission can "add value" and complement to the ongoing discussions and deliberations on port congestion by giving industry leaders the opportunity they have told us they want: to engage in active collaboration other supply chain actors to learn and develop supply chain solutions.

Innovation Teams

We going to take this collaborative effort two steps farther.

First, we want to engage leaders of all supply chain actors, from the ocean carriers to American shippers, in high-functioning teams, ideally composed of 5-12 members.

Second, we will encourage these teams to act as Innovation Teams, with each team members stepping outside his particular "silo" or enterprise and considering global supply chain on a systemic level.

Executive Commitment

We have adopted an entrepreneurial spirit in this endeavor. Like any successful entrepreneur, we have the most important information to support moving forward with our project: the support of our stakeholders.

We are extremely pleased that our initial announcement of our Supply Chain Innovation Teams has been well received.

We already have interest and commitments to participate from ocean carrier and marine terminal executives, and port officials. We have commitment from trucking interests and ocean transportation intermediaries (freight forwarders and NVOCCs).

And we also have substantial interest from American exporter and also from the largest retailers in the country. Each of these industry executives will bring their business experience and success to our teams.

SupplyChain@fmc.gov

We know that, although port congestion has receded in our major port complexes, there are many industry leaders who feel an urgency to work together to improve supply chain performance.

We want to create the sort of high level teams that can make that happen.

To begin, we have set up an email address for communications on this project that will be posted on our website: supplychain@fmc.gov.

We ask that you send to us the names of our company leaders, and briefly, your ideas for increasing supply chain performance. And also any questions you may have for us.

In particular, we would like you also to respond to this question: What would provide the most overall improvement to supply chain functioning: greater reliability, visibility, reliance, or adaptabililty? And why?

We expect to have a webpage for this project where we will address questions and provide information on our progress. Look to this webpage for answers to questions on timing, meeting locations, and other details related to this project.

Thank you to my fellow Commissioners, for their support and advice. And thank you to our future supply chain team members.