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- Joye Runfola
After two years of unprecedented port congestion and inland transportation bottlenecks caused by the 2020-2022 US import surge, exporters of agricultural products and other commodities are reporting fewer delays in moving their shipments from interior locations to seaports now that the import surge has subsided. Equipment availability also is improving, and some exporters report that space on outbound vessels is opening up. Now that carrier on-time performance has improved, congestion at interior rail hubs is diminishing and chassis availability is less of a problem, what lessons did exporters learn during the COVID years that will assist them in collaborating with shipping lines, railroads, and intermodal equipment providers to build mutually beneficial transportation programs? Will the proliferation of near-dock yards for temporary storage of inbound and outbound containers continue to have a positive impact on port fluidity? Also, with the Federal Maritime Commission appearing ready to increase its oversight of ocean and inland transportation, should exporters anticipate expedited responses to their complaints involving detention and demurrage charges? This session, featuring large and small exporters, will answer these and other questions amid the latest new shipping cycle.