James H. Sumner

USA Poultry & Egg Export Council


James Sumner is the president of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, where he has been since 1990. He previously served as the vice president of communications for Dairyman Inc, and the director of marketing for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Sumner was the president of the International Poultry Council from 2005-2019. He is an original founding member of the World Poultry Foundation (founded as the USAPEEC International Poultry Development Program) and is currently serving the board as president. He brings expertise in international trade, negotiations, and policy formation to the WPF board.

Sessions With James H. Sumner

Monday, 28 February

  • 04:35pm - 05:20pm (EST) / 01/mar/2022 12:35 am - 01/mar/2022 01:20 am

    Cool Cargoes II: Managing Congestion in a Historically Disruptive Era

    The congestion running rampant through global supply chains is costing refrigerated shippers billions of dollars, even as many importers and exporters are recording record demand and revenue. For exporters such as those represented by the USA Egg and Poultry Export Council (USAPEEC), bottlenecks at ports and inland have cost as much as 20 percent in unrealized business. “We’re set (in 2021) to make a record in exports of around $5 billion,” Jim Sumner, USAPEEC’s president, told a JOC Cool Cargoes webcast in November. “But even though we’re going to set a lot of records this year, that $5 billion could easily have been $6 billion if we could have gotten the product to the port and gotten it on the ship.” Conditions for perishable imports are even worse, according to Juan Alarcon, CEO of Fyffes North America, an importer of fresh produce, mainly bananas, pineapple, and plantains. “The biggest challenge for us is not only shipping; it’s everything in the supply chain, from the sourcing to delivery,” Alarcon told the Cool Cargoes webcast. “You have the cost of fertilization, the cost of the reefer container, plastics, pallets, all the ocean components and the delivery charges, the late arrival in port, the dwell time charges, plus rising costs and difficulties in inland transportation." A shortage of reefer equipment — as well as getting those that are available into position — also is hindering volumes. While carriers use the reefer boxes to move higher-yielding dry cargo, the rising demand for cold chain products also is filling all available capacity. With so many pieces clogging the system and few expecting it to let up before the second half of 2022, how can shippers effectively manage the chaos, especially through the ports? This session will look at the specific pain points, when the various challenges might ease, and how shippers can go about bridging the divide.