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Commissioner Carl Bentzel’s call to action to supply chain stakeholders – 2nd RFI

Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has taken another significant stride in advancing transparency and efficiency within the maritime industry with the release of the second Request for Information (RFI) for the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI) published on the 16th of April 2024.

As per the statement, the 2nd RFI is part of Commissioner Bentzel’s ongoing endeavor to develop a transparent information-sharing process to enhance the reliability and predictability of container shipments vital to the USA’s commerce and to address concerns regarding data accuracy, cargo availability, and operational efficiency.

Building upon the insights garnered from the first RFI, which focused on assessing existing levels of data communication between transportation providers, service providers, and shippers, the 2nd RFI delves deeper into the recommendations outlined in the MTDI Report.

The responses received from stakeholders to both RFIs will play a crucial role in shaping the final report, expected later this year. Understanding the dynamic nature of the maritime landscape, Commissioner Bentzel acknowledges the potential necessity for issuing a third RFI to address emerging issues such as cybersecurity and smart containers.

These considerations, aligned with the scope of the MTDI, underscore the Commission’s commitment to comprehensive solutions that foster industry resilience and adaptability.

Amidst these initiatives, the FMC continues its efforts to finalize mandates outlined in the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA – 2022). The recent release of the Final Rule on Demurrage and Detention Billing Practices signifies a significant milestone in ensuring fair practices and fostering operational certainty within the supply chain.

The recent release of the Final Rule on Demurrage and Detention Billing Practices by the FMC, scheduled to go into effect on May 28, 2024, represents a significant milestone in ensuring fair practices and operational certainty within the supply chain.

In his statement, Commissioner Bentzel underscores the role of well-implemented information-sharing processes such as the MTDI, in mitigating conflicts that lead to demurrage and detention charges.

I strongly encourage transportation providers and the public to review the twenty-five questions released today and provide input. The MTDI has been a process designed to be transparent and one that benefits from shared information. A robust volume of responses to this RFI will help us continue to meet those goals,” the statement read.

The FMC and Commissioner Bentzel’s advocacy for the MTDI reflects a commitment to fostering transparency, efficiency, and sustainability within the maritime industry.

As the maritime landscape continues to evolve, initiatives like the MTDI serve as catalysts for positive change, driving toward a more resilient and interconnected global supply chain.


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