The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


FMC Holds Ocean Transportation Intermediary Panel Discussion, issued October 5, 2004

October 5, 2004

Federal Maritime Commission

Washington, D.C. 20573   


NR 04 - 13



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


            On Tuesday, September 21, 2004, the Federal Maritime Commission (""FMC"") held the first in what will be 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. To kickoff the briefing series, members of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (""NCBFAA"") participated in a panel discussion that included Peter Powell, Sr. of C.H. Powell, Inc. (panel moderator); John Abisch of Econocaribe Consolidators, Inc.; Lee Conner of John S. Connor, Inc.; Ed Greenberg of Galland, Kharasch, Morse & Garfinkle, P.C.; and Ed Piza of Barthco International, Inc.


            The Chairman, Commissioners and staff from all FMC offices and bureaus were briefed on general transportation pricing issues, various government reporting rules and requirements, and U.S. cargo security issues. Panelists also discussed the expanding role of the Ocean Transportation Intermediary (""OTI"") in the U.S./foreign oceanborne commerce, especially with regard to value added services, and discussed the impact on the industry of increased security measures since 9/11. Commissioners, FMC staff and panel participants discussed various ways that the OTI industry is working with government agencies to improve U.S. cargo/port security while also maintaining efficient market processes. Finally, the panel discussed future U.S. import/export trade growth projections, industry reaction to anticipated larger cargo volumes, and the potential impact of such cargo growth on U.S. transportation infrastructure.


This panel discussion marks another step in Chairman Blust's goal to broaden the Commission's understanding of the various shipping industry segments by promoting ongoing dialogue between the agency and its stakeholders, especially in light of the continued changing dynamics of the ocean shipping industry. Chairman Blust stated, ""I am pleased to be able to facilitate today's briefing and bring together the agency and its stakeholders for a very meaningful and informative discussion. We look forward to subsequent sessions with other industry segments - shippers, carriers, marine terminal operators, ocean freight forwarders and other OTIs.""