Shipping legislation could provide welcomed relief
Shipping delays continue to weigh on potential export shipments for a variety of commodities.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council says for dairy, that has meant waning confidence in the U.S. in Southeast Asia, one of the country’s top export regions.
Shawna Morris tells Brownfield the lack of predicable U.S. trade is undermining the perception of the U.S. as a reliable supplier.
“That’s just critical, and I think that’s a big part of concern here—if we don’t get a better handle on this situation near-term—the impacts it can have down the road,” she says.
Morris says its extraordinary U.S. dairy shipments have been able to maintain strong numbers and, if enforcement by Congress on carriers was stronger, the industry could benefit. The group is supporting the Ocean Shipping Reform Act introduced this week.
“Our dairy exporters have been having a huge number of problems dealing with the shipping crisis, availability of containers, much higher fees to actually get things out the door, and a huge volatility that simply wasn’t there,” she explains.
She says if ocean carriers are obligated to carry export cargo and regulatory burdens move from export shippers to carriers like outlined in the legislation, a lot of shipping issues could be improved.
Analysis by the group of dairy trade for the first five months of the year estimates an additional $200 million has been spent on added charges and trade impacts.