The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


FMC Hears Update on Impact of PierPASS, Growing Cargo Volumes on MTOs

October 19, 2005

NR 05-17

To gain a better understanding of current conditions at U.S. ports, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) conducted an industry briefing this month by members of the National Association of Waterfront Employers (NAWE).

Following the sixth such briefing with maritime industry stakeholders, FMC Chairman Steven R. Blust stated that, "the NAWE industry briefing affords the Commission the benefit of hearing directly from the leaders of a trade association and a number of MTOs regarding the many dynamic developments confronting the MTO industry."

At the briefing, marine terminal operators discussed improvements in port productivity as a result of cooperative efforts under the PierPASS Program, which extended the hours at the Port of Los Angles/Long Beach during the night so that containerized cargo could be delivered and received at marine terminals. Panelists noted that the project has encouraged a shift in port traffic at participating West Coast ports to non-peak hours - improving congestion within and outside the involved ports.

Other topics included: the impact of increasing cargo volumes on constrained port, marine terminal, rail, and highway infrastructures; additional ways to keep cargo moving through the nation's transport grid and the need to coordinate at the local, state and national levels when seeking solutions to common problems.

The briefing was presented by the following members of the National Association of Waterfront Employers: Basil Maher, COO, Maher Terminals (and panel moderator); Dave Adams, Executive Vice President of Operations, Marine Terminals Corp.; Patrick Hall, Senior Vice President, Cooper/T. Smith Stevedoring; Jon Hemingway, President, SSA Marine; Art Merrick, President, Long Beach Container Terminal; Robert Scavone, Executive Vice President, P&O Ports NA; and Tom Simmers, CEO, Ceres Terminals.

The Federal Maritime Commission is responsible for the regulation of ocean-borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S. The FMC is working to streamline the regulatory process as it goes about fulfilling its core mission, which is to administer regulations and policies that foster a fair, efficient and secure maritime transportation system.

Press Contact: Bryant L. Vanbrakle (202) 523-5725; e-mail: