For the 8th Consecutive year GSIS was in attendance for the TIA Convention. We made many new friends and thank all those in attendance for an educational and entertaining week.
The past 12 months in the 3PL industry have, like the economy, had its ups and downs. Most notably the introduction of MAP 21 of the Highway Authorization Bill. Last July President Obama forever changed the logistics field with the introduction of Map 21 (moving ahead for progress in the 21st century act). Since its introduction, MAP 21 has been implemented by DOT, FTA, FMCSA and FHWA with one goal in mind: to develop a national strategic freight plan. Just renewed by congress in April, MAP 21 is running full steam ahead. we can revisit some key points pertinent to our field:
On April 16, Commissioner Mario Cordero, who replaced Commissioner Richard A. Lidinsky as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) earlier in April, testified to Congress regarding the Fiscal Year 2014 FMC budget. In his presentation, Chairman Cordero outlined two primary ways the Commission could promote our nation’s economic recovery:
(1) working to ensure the competitiveness of our Nation’s ports and maritime transportation system to make sure that it efficiently supports growing exports; and
(2) providing maritime businesses regulatory relief so they and their customers can hire more American workers.
Because more than 80% of international trade relies on ports, Chairman Cordero stated that the efficiency of our transportation system–including the OTI (Ocean Transportation Intermediary), ocean common carriers, and marine terminal operators–is key to relieving congestion at ports, decreasing delays, and lowering transportation costs.
Chairman Cordero also reiterated a commitment to continue assisting U.S. exporters in 2013. Agricultural exporters can look forward to a container shipping rate index for a few targeted export commodities such as grains, cotton, hay, and frozen meat. It is anticipated that with such an index exporters could plan and hedge their transportation costs.
Other new developments include a searchable database of NVOCC (Non Vessel Owned Common Carriers) on the FMC website. Small businesses that want to start exporting, as well as individuals shipping personal goods, can use the search tool to find nearby licensed and bonded freight forwarders.
Chairman Cordero and the FMC have committed to continued efforts to reduce regulatory burdens, thereby initiating cost savings and flexibility for the shipping industry and its customers. Progress was made in 2012. Chairman Cordero cited the following:
Chairman Cordero stated that the Commission will continue to solicit input from the shipping public and the regulated industry about how to streamline and improve its rules.