Annual Review & Outlook 2013: Federal Maritime Commission

Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr.The slow but steady economic expansion we witnessed during 2012 will continue through 2013. As our economy continues to expand, so should employment, pushed by the demand for our exports, and the realignment of carrier and shipper business practices. The increased demand for our country’s exports, in line with President Obama’s National Export Initiative, and reallocation of resources on the part of shippers and carriers should allow the U.S. liner trades to recover and stabilize. Recovery of the U.S. liner trade will bring about new opportunities for shippers and carriers to streamline their business plans, while meeting their customers’ concerns.

As the second term of the Obama administration begins, the FMC will continue its core maritime regulatory goals:

  • Eliminate any costly regulatory requirements that burden those under our jurisdictions.
  • Refocus on the needs of American importers, exporters and consumers within the regulatory framework of this agency.
  • Promote green jobs at ports through new agreements and carrier activities.

2013 also will bring about increased use of chassis pools, modification of agreements to reduce cost and redundancy, and other structural changes within our industry.

Through all this, the FMC continues to work hard to enforce provisions of the Shipping Act, which protects the public from fraud and unfair practices. The FMC this year will continue to cut red tape and expenses, by reviewing regulations governing ocean transportation intermediaries, and reassessing the impact and possibly broadening the scope of negotiated rate agreements.

Finally, we will continue looking at the possibilities of publishing an index to assist agriculture exporters, and updating the bond requirements carried by cruise lines to reimburse passengers should the cruises they booked be canceled.

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