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Inquiry on Cargo Diversion Through Canada and Mexico Extended Through Jan. 9

Monday, December 26, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission has extended from Dec. 22 to Jan. 9, 2012, the period for public comments on factors that may cause or contribute to the shift of containerized cargo destined for U.S. inland points from U.S. to Canadian and Mexican seaports. The FMC is soliciting comments and information from all members of the interested public, including public port authorities, private marine terminal operators, ocean common carriers, ocean transportation intermediaries, supply chain experts, providers of rail and trucking services, state, local, provincial or national governments, importers, exporters and beneficial cargo owners, on the following issues.

• any differences in taxes, fees, laws, regulations, cargo handling, customs processes, related terminal/port procedures, infrastructure or intermodal services between U.S. and Canadian or Mexican ports that may come into consideration when determining how to route cargo destined for U.S. inland points

• reasons vessel-operating common carriers serving the U.S., Canada and Mexico may prefer to make Mexican or Canadian ports their first North American ports of call

• why ocean transportation intermediaries or importers may prefer to route their customers' inland U.S.-destined cargo via a Mexican or Canadian port

• the advantages and disadvantages a beneficial cargo owner may face when considering whether to route inland U.S.-destined cargo via a Mexican or Canadian port, including the Harbor Maintenance Tax and total transportation costs (ocean, truck and rail)

• any effect the change in cargo routing has had on employment in the United States

• any volume or other incentives, bonuses or discounts offered by ports, common carriers, terminal operators or other entities for cargo moved through Canadian or Mexican ports and where these may be available to the shipping public

• the advantages and/or disadvantages current transportation services via Canadian or Mexican ports may offer to U.S. exporters

• actions the U.S. government can take to improve the competitiveness of U.S. ports, including those that are the most important or pressing

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