In a victory for the recycling industry, providing much needed relief from excessive ocean shipping rates, ISRI applauds the signage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) into law by President Biden. This follows numerous ISRI advocacy efforts on behalf of recyclers, including educating bill sponsors on the impact of unfair ocean shipping detention and demurrage charges.
Designed to promote efficiencies and enhance the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) authorities, the bill will authorize the FMC to codify their interpretive rule on demurrage and detention by requiring carriers to notify shippers when their cargo is actually available rather than when the ship arrives thus preventing carriers and terminals from overcharging shippers for demurrage and detention.
“By developing minimum service standards that meet the public interest, OSRA will require the FMC to determine the scope of the common carrier obligation of ocean carriers,” said ISRI Chief Lobbyist Billy Johnson. “OSRA does not lessen or alter the obligations and responsibilities of shippers in any way.”
The FMC is responsible for ensuring that ocean carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) engage in fair and competitive practices with respect to the movement of goods. Prior to the passage of OSRA, the agency had limited authority and leverage. ISRI has long advocated for relief of the port congestion, shipping, and container issues facing the recycling industry. In May 2021, ISRI organized a virtual fly-in where recyclers met with members of the House and Senate transportation committees to address those concerns.
“We bring solutions to the table and don’t just complain,” Johnson said. “The National Retail Federation, the National Industrial Transportation League, Thompson Hine, and several of our other partners really put together a great coalition in support of OSRA. I find it an honor to be invited to work with these people, because they are the who’s who in Washington—and for ISRI to be included as an industry leader; that’s truly a special place to be.”