April 01, 2022

Wyden: Bipartisan Legislation to Help Fix Supply Chain and Ease Shipping Backlogs Passes Senate

Legislation is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 29 senators and endorsed by more than 100 organizations, including the American Association of Port Authorities

Washington, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today that bipartisan legislation he co-sponsored to help fix supply chains and ease shipping backlogs in Oregon and nationwide has passed the Senate by voice vote. 

“Oregon farmers and all other businesses exporting our state’s world-renowned products need a level playing field to do what they do best -- compete successfully in a global economy so they can continue generating jobs here at home,” Wyden said. “And all Oregonians need relief from supply chain snarls driving up prices.  I’m glad the Senate passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act this week to help Oregon and the entire country by making it harder for ocean carriers to collect record profits in part by unjustly refusing goods ready to export from U.S. ports.”

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act earned the endorsement of the American Association of Port Authorities, which represents more than 130 port authorities across North and South America. The bill is also endorsed by more than 100 organizations including the Association of Port Authorities, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC), the National Retail Federation, and the American Trucking Association.

In addition to Wyden, other co-sponsors of the legislation written by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD) are U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Hoeven (R-ND), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Todd Young (R-IN), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tina Smith (D-MN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Mike Braun (R-IN), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), James Risch (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), John Boozman (R-AR), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO).

Companion legislation was led in the House by U.S. Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 364-60.

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act will:

  • Require ocean carriers to certify that late fees —known in maritime parlance as “detention and demurrage” charges—comply with federal regulations or face penalties;
  • Shift burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of “detention or demurrage” charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier;
  • Prohibit ocean carriers from unreasonably declining shipping opportunities for U.S. exports, as determined by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in new required rulemaking;
  • Require ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and 20-foot equivalent units (loaded/empty) per vessel that makes port in the United States;
  • Authorize the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carriers’ business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate; and
  • Establish new authority for the FMC to register shipping exchanges.