Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky Jr. praised ocean carriers and the Department of Agriculture for a new weekly report on inland container availability and urged shippers to participate in it.
“I congratulate the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services as well as the 10 ocean carrier members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement for implementing the container availability program last week,” he said.
The Ocean Shipping Container Availability Report, or OSCAR, provides a snapshot of carriers’ surpluses and deficits of five types of ocean shipping containers at 18 U.S. intermodal locations, and availability forecasts for two weeks ahead.
The report is designed to provide shippers, particularly those in the agricultural sector, with carriers’ estimates of equipment availability for the current week, and to project availability for the next two weeks.
Lidinsky said the program originated in a dialogue during a 2010 congressional hearing between him and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who then chaired the House Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Subcommittee.