The Federal Maritime Commission is starting an investigation of tight vessel capacity that ocean importers and exporters say is hindering their ability to compete in global markets, the commission announced Wednesday.
The FMC named Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye to lead the non-judicial fact-finding mission.
The announcement came as a House Transportation maritime subcommittee heard testimony from shippers and ocean carriers about the state of the industry, which has seen an increase in rates along with continuing complaints from U.S. exporters – principally in the agriculture sector – that they are unable to get containers to get goods to overseas markets.
The FMC said it is conducting the fact-finding in response to President Obama’s national export initiative, with a goal to double exports in five years and create 2 million jobs. An executive order on March 11, directs the use of “every available federal resource” in support of the initiative.
The fact-finding order gives Dye authority to call hearings, subpoena records and order reports. Preliminary recommendations are due June 15, with a final report to be submitted July 31.
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