FMC praises USDA for joining the ocean cargo metrics mix
July 18, 2012
The Federal Maritime Commission praised the United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) for introducing the Ocean Shipping Container Availability Report (OSCAR).
The report provides shippers, particularly those in the agriculture sector, with the participating carriers’ estimates of equipment availability for the current week, and projected weekly container availability for the subsequent two weeks. As noted in LM, the announcement comes on the heels of similar reports issued by private sector providers.
“I congratulate the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services as well as the 10 ocean carrier members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) for implementing the Container Availability program last week, and I urge full participation by all U.S. shippers” FMC Chairman Lidinsky stated.
The origins of this effort was the result of a dialogue during a Congressional hearing between the then House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Chairman Elijah Cummings (D – MD) and Chairman Lidinsky in 2010. “FMC staff worked closely with USDA and WTSA to overcome initial hesitations with implementing the new reporting service and is a perfect example of government and the private sector uniting to implement President Obama’s goal of doubling exports. This agency will continue to work with all parties to ensure its success,” said Chairman Lidinsky.
The new report contains information about five types of ocean shipping containers at 18 different U.S. intermodal locations. The data aims to offer a more transparent view of container flows, increase efficiency, and provide additional information to help U.S. exporters locate equipment to move their products, regardless of the type of cargo
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