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Commissioner Dye’s Remarks at the Port of New York & New Jersey’s 18th Annual Port Industry Day

September 24, 2018

Commissioner Rebecca Dye addressed the audience at the Port of New York & New Jersey’s Annual Port Industry Day on the topic of ways to improve the ocean freight delivery system. Drawing on her experience leading the Federal Maritime Commissions Supply Chain Innovation Teams initiative and the ongoing fact finding investigation into demurrage and detention practices, Commissioner Dye emphasized the importance of timely provision of specific, critical information, rather than maximum data, for obtaining substantial improvements in supply chain performance.

Noting that end-to-end transparency for supply chains is a much discussed ambition, Commissioner Dye said that her experience working with small, multi-industry teams of supply chain leaders “made it clear that the timely and accurate availability of actionable information – especially at pivotal points in transportation networks – is what we need to make our international freight delivery system as reliable and resilient as the American economy requires it to be.”

Regarding the Commission’s innovation teams initiative, Dye emphasized the supply chain visibility became the focus of all six teams because of its potential contribution to managing supply chain systems complexity and promoting behavioral self-correction in that system. But improved supply chain visibility, she noted, required being able to provide “specific, decision-critical information to all major supply chain actors...that would allow them to act in harmony, not at cross purposes, within the supply chain ecosystem.” The innovation teams ultimately recommended a National Seaport Information Portal as the way to implement the provision of such critical information.

Commissioner Dye also spoke about the fact finding investigation she was leading concerning demurrage and detention practices at US ports. She noted that the investigation team had identified a number of subjects that warranted further review during the final phase of the investigation. The “central question,” she said, would be “What, in this modern high-tech age constitutes ‘reasonable notice of cargo availability’ and ‘reasonable opportunity to take delivery?”

Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye is a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The thoughts and comments expressed here are her own and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission.