US president Biden signs the Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law
US president Joe Biden signed into law the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) on 16 June, which authorizes appropriations for the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) for fiscal years 2022 through 2025.
Additionally, the law is expected to establish additional requirements and prohibited conduct for ocean carriers and require the FMC to issue rules related to certain fee assessments, prohibited practices, and establishment of a shipping registry.
Furthermore, the new law authorizes the FMC under certain circumstances to issue an emergency order requiring common carriers to share information directly with shippers and rail and motor carriers.
US president pointed out that one of the major factors that affect prices is the fact that nine container shipping companies, consulted into three alliances (2M, THE, Οcean), control the vast majority of shipping in the world.
Biden went on to note that during the pandemic, these carriers increased freight rates by as much as 1,000%. “While families and businesses struggled around the world, these carriers made US$190 billion in profit in 2021,” he highlighted.
The law will stop “shipping companies taking advantage of American families, farmers, ranchers and businesses,” said Joe Biden at a signing ceremony at the White House, adding, “They [shipping companies] raked in the profits, and the costs got passed on, as you might guess, directly to consumers. Sticking it to American families and businesses because they could.”