The Federal Maritime Commission is seeking public comments no later than June 17 on more than two dozen questions related to maritime data accuracy. Comments will inform possible future FMC activities, with a focus on information related to containers moving through marine terminals.

Cargo in international trade moves between the control of numerous entities, the FMC states, and while some key data elements are readily shared between supply chain participants, the lack of timely and accurate access to others can lead to inefficiencies. Additionally, the lack of data standardization reduces the ability to move cargo in an effective way. The FMC believes that improving communication and data availability could improve supply chain effectiveness and efficiency by helping to reduce congestion, accelerate import and export shipments, and reduce storage fees and cargo holds.

In May 2023 FMC Commissioner Carl Bentzel recommended a new maritime transportation data system that would establish a mandatory standard for providing data on ocean carrier vessel operations and arrivals, intermodal rail arrivals and departures, and access and restrictions into and out of both marine and intermodal rail facilities. The FMC subsequently sought additional information from the shipping public on issues related to maritime data availability, accuracy, and exchange.

The FMC is now seeking to gather additional information on data accuracy, given that a common theme revealed previously is that information on container pick up/return is difficult to gather accurately or predict. While the FMC has segmented the questions into categories specific to vessel operators and marine terminal operators, importers, and exporters, the FMC is interested in hearing from the public as well.

ST&R’s team of former FMC and DOJ litigation personnel, freight forwarders, and former administration and congressional staffers can help your company respond to these questions and advocate for your interests. For more information, please contact Jason Kenner (at (212) 549-0137 or via email) or Andy Margolis (at (305) 894-1021 or via email).

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