Our latest news and releases
WSC on H.R. 1696, the “Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act”: Why do away with regulation that benefits shippers, ports, consumers, and supply chain workers?
The Shipping Act establishes rules that provide legal certainty to ocean carriers to share space on ships while ensuring competitive markets. Being able to share space on ships allows more carriers to provide more services more efficiently to more ports than carriers could provide individually. That is good for shippers, ports, consumers, and all of the workers that keep the global supply network running. H.R. 1696 would remove that system and undermine competitiveness and choice for liner shipping services.
The FMC Chairman today issued a statement that ascribes improper motivations to a regulatory comment about an important environmental issue that WSC and PMSA raised in the FMC’s detention and demurrage rulemaking. We respectfully but categorically reject the Chairman’s characterization. Our Petition for Review was submitted in the manner provided for in the rulemaking process, and as required by federal law and regulation.
EU rules for vessel sharing – reducing environmental impact and increasing efficiency for global trade
To serve as many ports and customers as possible, as efficiently as possible, international ocean carriers often share space on vessels. Vessel sharing benefiting the EU is regulated through the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER), which expires in April 2024 and is now under review by the European Commission’s DG COMP. The World Shipping Council (WSC), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) have submitted their input to the European Commission, calling for a renewal of the CBER and demonstrating how vessel sharing contributes to the EU policy goals of reducing transport emissions, increasing competitiveness and improving efficiency to reduce costs.
Today the President signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law. The Federal Maritime Commission now has the important task of implementing the law so that it fulfils its core objective to support “an ocean transportation system that is competitive, efficient, and economical.”
Today’s vote on The Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) marks the conclusion of the legislative phase and transition to the Federal Maritime Commission rulemaking process. We appreciate the time and effort that Congress has put into crafting this bill and look forward to engaging in productive conversations with the Federal Maritime Commission to implement OSRA in a way that will minimize disruption in the supply chain.
The American people are looking for solutions to supply chain congestion resulting from the impacts of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, S.3580, which was marked up today by the Senate Commerce Committee, addresses none of the root causes of the U.S. landside congestion.
Here are the facts: container shipping is a competitive industry with multiple ocean carriers actively challenging one another in the global marketplace and on the shipping lanes most relevant for U.S. trade,” said John Butler, President and CEO of the World Shipping Council. “It is disappointing that unfounded allegations are being levied against an industry that is moving more cargo right now than at any time in history in order to meet the unprecedented demand for imported goods during the pandemic.
“It is unfortunate that the President is demonizing ocean carriers, the industry that is the backbone of the U.S. and global economy and that has been working around the clock through the pandemic to move more cargo than at any time in history.
Allegations that the container shipping industry is highly concentrated and uncompetitive are factually incorrect. Ocean carriers actively compete against one another in the global marketplace, including on the shipping lanes most relevant for U.S. trade, while concentration levels in many other U.S. industries are markedly higher than those in container shipping. In a clear sign of a competitive market responding to increased demand, competition increased in 2021, with more ships operated by a larger pool of carriers serving the trans-Pacific trade.
Statement: John Butler, President & CEO of the World Shipping Council on the Senate Ocean Shipping Reform Act
“Ocean carriers have deployed every available ship and container to move the continuing record levels of cargo resulting from pandemic-driven U.S. demand for imports—but when ships cannot get into port to discharge and load cargo because of landside logistics breakdowns, it is clear that further regulating ocean carriers will not solve the deeper challenges in U.S. supply chains,” says John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC.
Shippers and carriers met yesterday to talk about the causes and effects of recent supply chain disruption coinciding with the COVID 19 pandemic. The meeting brought together a broad representation of members from the European Shippers Council (ECS) and the World Shipping Council (WSC) and the Secretariat of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA). This is the first of a planned series of meetings between shippers and carriers, in a joint effort to find solutions through dialogue and improve mutual understanding of the challenges each party faces. It is hoped these will also look beyond current supply chain disruptions to face a broader set of common future topics like decarbonisation and digitalisation.