The House Approves A Bill Addressing Shipping Container Dilemma


  • House lawmakers voted 364 to 60 on Wednesday night to pass the ‘The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021’ a bipartisan bill aimed at curbing the shipping container crisis.
  • The bill could greatly reduce the practice of sending empty cargo boxes back to China, among other countries and gives American exporters more opportunities to ship goods abroad.
  • Last week, 22 Democrats urged House Democratic leadership to consider additional legislation to address supply chain disruptions.

On Wednesday night, House members voted 364 to 60 to support ‘The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021,’ a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the shipping container dilemma as reported by Yahoo Life.

The big picture

The bill could significantly eliminate the practice of returning empty cargo boxes back to China and other nations, as well as provide additional chances for American exporters to ship goods internationally.

  • It would also give the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) the authority to sanction ocean carriers and require carriers to provide more information to the public.
  • The bill also makes “reciprocal trade” one of the FMC’s duties, with the goal of decreasing the US trade deficit and addressing what is viewed as the unjust treatment of American exporters.

Why does it matter?

In the United States, supply chain participants have been urging Congress and the White House to do more to reduce shipping and transit costs and wait times.

  • 22 Democrats encouraged House Democratic leadership to consider more legislation to address supply chain issues last week.
  • According to the study, carriers informed exporters that empty containers would be favoured and that they would have to pay higher fees if commodities were carried.

Be smart

Shippers can make more money from containers arriving onshore than containers departing due to increased U.S. demand for goods from abroad during the pandemic, rewarding the mismatch.

What do they say? 

Empty containers being sent “back to Asia for a short turn… has produced major problems, not just conceptual — actual money, real cents,” according to Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), a measure co-sponsor.

  • The bill has received support from industry groups representing the retail, agriculture, and transportation sectors.
  • In a statement, the World Shipping Council, which represents carriers such as Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, and other global shipping behemoths, said the bill is a “political” expression of displeasure that is not meant nor capable of resolving supply chain issues.

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Source: Yahoo Life


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