In December 2021, the Chairman of The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Daniel B. Maffei appointed Commissioner Carl Bentzel to spearhead an initiative of the FMC to focus on identifying data constraints that impede the flow of ocean cargo adding to supply chain inefficiencies in the USA.
As per the FMC, “This project will aim to establish data standards and best practices for data access and transmission essential for a reliable and stable ocean transportation system.”
Starting in December, through the first half of 2022, Commissioner Bentzel announced plans to convene a series of meetings with maritime and intermodal stakeholders with initial findings presented at a data summit to be hosted by the FMC in the spring of 2022.
The kick-off meeting was on the 7th of December and featured information on the current need for data transparency to improve supply chain transparency and create greater efficiencies in the movement of cargo.
This initiative will propose recommendations for common data standards used by the international shipping supply chain, as well as access policies and protocols that would streamline information sharing across the ocean supply chain.
Over the course of the project Commissioner Bentzel will conduct research, interviews, round tables, and hold public meetings to inform the “status quo” in maritime data. He will explore what common ocean shipping data is created with each hand-off of a container through the supply chain, how that maritime data is stored and shared, and identify what are the critical data elements used by each supply chain party.
Ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, truckers, railroads, and other government agencies are among those who will be invited to provide insight about data definitions, classification, and recommendations for improving interoperability of data records involving container shipping. Input from the Commission’s National Shipper Advisory Committee may also be solicited as part of the project. Initial deliverables will include a data inventory and recommendations for common standards.
The schedule for the FMC meetings with Commissioner Carl Bentzel and the industry till April 2022 is as below. Meetings are scheduled for every Tuesday 3pm to 4pm US Eastern Time.
|11th Jan||Warehouse/Distribution Centers/3PL Industry|
|18th Jan||Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs)|
|25th Jan||Chassis Industry|
|1st Feb||Railroad Industry|
|8th Feb||Federal Partners (USDOT/CBP/Commerce/Agriculture)|
|15th Feb||Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (Forwarders and NVOCCs)|
|1st Mar||Large Aggregators (Flexport/Expeditors/C.H. Robinson)|
|8th Mar||Maritime Labor|
|15th Mar||Available Technology/Platforms|
|22nd Mar||International Standards/FMC Agreements|
|29th Mar||Marine Terminal Operators (MTOs)|
|5th Apr||Marine Terminal Operators (MTOs)|
|12th Apr||Carriers (1)|
|19th Apr||Carriers (2)|
|1st Jun||FMC Maritime Transportation Data Summit|
*Meetings subject to change. Additional meetings may be added as needed.