This fireside chat recap is from Day 5 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: U.S. exporters battle to overcome supply chain service issues.
DETAILS: A year after discussing challenges that were just beginning to roil the U.S. agricultural export markets, Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, comes back to Global Supply Chain Week to talk about changes in the market since then. Notable among them are the struggle by shippers to retain market share, as well as new legislation that would give the federal government more oversight in carrier-shipper relationships.
SPEAKER: Peter Friedmann, executive director, Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC)
BIO: AgTC, which Friedman helped establish, supports a broad cross-section of U.S. agriculture exporters, importers and their service providers who require competitive ocean, rail and truck transportation services to maintain and grow foreign market share. Friedman previously served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where he drafted the Ocean Shipping Act, Harbor Maintenance Fee/Trust Fund for port dredging and other transport legislation.
Watch: AgTC’s Peter Friedmann on U.S. exports in the supply chain
KEY QUOTES FROM PETER FRIEDMAN:
“Right now we are finding through our AgTC survey that of the actual foreign sales — not projected targets, but actual sales under contract — that we are unable to perform 20% of those because we could not get our cargo on ships, could not get it delivered timely and because of price assessments by ocean carriers rendering the product unaffordable for delivery overseas. That is a phenomenal loss of export cargo and export revenue.”
“The [Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021] would never have been introduced had the ocean carriers simply taken seriously the Federal Maritime Commission’s Interpretive Rule on Detention and Demurrage. If the container is not available, [carriers] should not charge detention and demurrage. The impetus for the act is to provide the teeth and means to enforce that specific rule.”
“There’s been a lot of focus on the ocean carriers, but we have the lowest allowable interstate truck weight limits in the world here in the U.S. While the Canadians may send a certain amount of cargo in two trucks, we have to send three trucks to carry the same weight. That creates a shortage of trucks, drivers, equipment. These are self-inflicted wounds that we have to address in the supply chain urgently, in addition to building our marine terminal capacity.”