Executive Briefings

Retail Trade Group Wants to See Detailed U.S. Seaport Performance Reports Authorized

Following up on last fall's successful campaign to include a port performance statistics program in the federal long-term surface transportation bill, the National Retail Federation now leads a coalition of more than 100 groups in sending specific recommendations to the Department of Transportation.

"Having efficient, modern ports is important for the free flow of international trade, both imports and exports, and critical for our respective industries," the coalition of organizations representing retailers, manufacturers, farmers, logistics providers and other supply chain stakeholders wrote in a letter to Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“Our interest in performance measures is long-standing, but has been recently spurred by significant congestion and cargo delivery delays at the nation’s largest container ports,” the letter said. “These delays have a ripple effect throughout the supply chain, impacting all of our collective members, as well as the overall U.S. economy.”

In June last year, a divided Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation requiring the government to report on the performance of major U.S. port operations, including during labor contract talks.

Titled the Port Performance Act, the bill is intended to help Congress analyze supply trends and identify freight bottlenecks by requiring U.S. Department of Transportation data on capacity levels and cargo volumes at major U.S. ports.

In addition to annual port statistics, the bill would require performance reports before the expiration of a labor agreement and each month thereafter until a new contract is reached.

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"Having efficient, modern ports is important for the free flow of international trade, both imports and exports, and critical for our respective industries," the coalition of organizations representing retailers, manufacturers, farmers, logistics providers and other supply chain stakeholders wrote in a letter to Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“Our interest in performance measures is long-standing, but has been recently spurred by significant congestion and cargo delivery delays at the nation’s largest container ports,” the letter said. “These delays have a ripple effect throughout the supply chain, impacting all of our collective members, as well as the overall U.S. economy.”

In June last year, a divided Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation requiring the government to report on the performance of major U.S. port operations, including during labor contract talks.

Titled the Port Performance Act, the bill is intended to help Congress analyze supply trends and identify freight bottlenecks by requiring U.S. Department of Transportation data on capacity levels and cargo volumes at major U.S. ports.

In addition to annual port statistics, the bill would require performance reports before the expiration of a labor agreement and each month thereafter until a new contract is reached.

Read Full Article