The Airforwarders Association (AfA) has signed two stakeholder letters, one in favour of the proposed new Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, and the other supporting the Americans for Free Trade coalition’s bid to address unfair tariffs from China.
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 seeks to address longstanding port disruption, made worse by the pandemic and costing forwarders punitive demurrage penalty fees.
The Americans for Free Trade (AFT) letter supports congressional action on legislation that aims to help American businesses and workers compete globally, including with Chinese businesses.
“The pandemic taught us that global supply chains are not only interconnected, but require collaborative efforts between forwarders, airlines, ocean carriers, truckers, and railroads,” said Brandon Fried, Executive Director, AfA.
“As the Ukraine crisis accelerates, there is a significant need for increased logistical cooperation by all participants to make sure that essential medical supplies, food, and other vital materials reach those who need them most.
“Without a collaborative approach, the efficient distribution of these products would not be possible.”
AfA is backing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 as many of its members are full-service freight forwarders offering a variety of transportation options, including ocean.
“Throughout the pandemic, our members have had to conduct frank conversations with their clients, and have been often forced to pass along exceedingly high detention and demurrage fees incurred as a result of inefficient maritime port operations,” said Fried.
“The proposed legislation would hopefully reduce fees to freight forwarders, their cargo owner clients, and truck vendors who serve our industry and customers.
“Our hope is that this legislation will force ocean carriers and marine terminals to provide more efficient handling of cargo while reducing the detention and demurrage costs often unfairly assessed, even when the cargo is not made available by those entities.”
AFT is calling for an end to additional tariffs on U.S. companies as well as China’s retaliatory tariffs by supporting the Section 301 Product Exclusions Process, part of U.S. trade legislation.