March 24, 2022

Ocean Shipping Reform Act Gets Bipartisan Vote in U.S. Senate Committee

On March 22, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation passed S. 3580, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. This bill aims to crack down on unreasonable practices by container shipping lines, bolster U.S. enforcement against uncompetitive carrier practices and improve transparency for exporters. The bill also works to ensure that carriers (e.g. container shipping lines) may not unreasonably decline to export cargo.

Western Growers has proactively worked to support OSRA and its progression through the House and Senate. 

Since Fall 2020, U.S. agricultural exporters have faced extreme challenges getting their products onto ships and out to foreign buyers, including record-breaking congestion and delays at ports, shipping lines’ persistent failure to provide accurate notice of arrival/departure and cargo loading times, excessive financial penalties and other fees, as well as skyrocketing freight rate costs.

Unfortunately, this situation remains fluid with no clear end in sight; based on current projections, we may not see a return to normal until early 2023, all but guaranteeing tough months ahead for our export-sensitive crops.