The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


FMC Holds Second Industry Briefing

February 1, 2005

NR 05-01

CONTACT: BRYANT L. VANBRAKLE (202) 523-5725; e-mail:

On Thursday, January 27, 2005, the Federal Maritime Commission ("FMC") held the second in a series of briefings with shipping industry representatives to develop a greater awareness and understanding of the current issues and concerns affecting the U.S. international liner shipping industry. Executives of several vessel-operating common carriers participated in a panel discussion that included; Ron Widdows, CEO of APL; George J. Hayashi, Chairman and CEO of MOL (America), Inc.; Dr. Yoram Sebba, CEO of ZIM Integrated Shipping Services; Thomas B. Crowley, Jr., Chairman, President, and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corp.; World Shipping Council President and CEO Chris Koch; and Stanley Sher of the law firm Sher & Blackwell.

The Chairman, Commissioners and staff from all FMC offices and bureaus were briefed on transportation infrastructure issues, U.S. cargo security, and emerging industry trends. Commissioners, FMC staff and panel participants discussed the industry's relationship with government agencies, and the ways in which FMC oversight has changed since the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998. Finally, the panel discussed the direction the shipping industry might take in the future, including the expansion of cargo capacity and the current limitations of the freight transportation infrastructure.

Chairman Blust has established the goal of broadening the Commission's understanding of the shipping industry. The Commission's first panel discussion, with members of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. was held on September 21, 2004. Yesterday's panel constitutes another important step towards building understanding and dialogue with the FMC's stakeholders. Chairman Blust stated, "the briefing with the vessel-operating carrier executives was vibrant and informative. I look forward to further briefings with other industry segments - shippers, marine terminal operators and port authorities, passenger vessel operators and other segments of the maritime community."