This week, Western Growers and nearly 300 allied agriculture and forest products companies and associations sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, urging his immediate intervention to support U.S. exporters and ensure their access to overseas markets.
Since fall of 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, carriers’ persistent failure to provide accurate notice of arrival/departure and cargo loading times, excessive imposition of financial penalties and other fees, and skyrocketing freight rate costs. The group letter urges the Department of Transportation to consider its existing powers and determine how it can assist with the transportation needs of U.S. ag exporters in overcoming the current challenges in shipping goods and products.
Foreign markets are critical to Western Growers members, and we have been proactively monitoring the ongoing situation and elevating the issue with the state and federal governments. We continue to press for action from the Administration, as well as Congress, to engage the marine transport supply chain – particularly the shipping lines and terminals – to find solutions and relief.
**If your business is having problems with exporting – including high detention/demurrage or other questionable fees, excessive delays or cancellations, and carrier unresponsiveness – please contact Tracey Chow ([email protected], 202-704-7312)