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Commissioner Lidinsky’s statement on the Fourth Annual Update to the FMC Study of U.S. Inland Containerized Cargo Moving through Canadian and Mexican Seaports

July 15, 2016

Contact: Jewel M. Jennings-Wright, Counsel to Commissioner Lidinsky

Four years after the original Study of U.S. Inland Containerized Cargo Moving through Canadian and Mexican Seaports was published, the Office of Commissioner Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. announces the fourth annual update to the report.

2015 was a pivotal year for U.S. cargo diversions through neighboring ports in Canada and Mexico. The fourth update is split into two sections: the 2015 Update, and an Annex to the report. The Update highlights the 2015 North American Container Trade, the initiation of new vessel alliances and reaction in terminals resulting in congestion along the West Coast, the continued growth of Canadian and Mexican seaports, the state of cross-border rail aiding in the transshipment of cargo into the United States, updates on action taken in U.S. Congress to aid and increase the competitiveness of U.S. ports, and lasting effects of the 2015 West Coast slowdown.

2015 was the second year in a row in which neighboring foreign seaports experienced larger inbound container growth than U.S. West coast ports. Mexican ports led North American inbound trade growth with a 9.9% year-over-year increase (compared to a 9.2% increase in 2014), followed by a 6.8% inbound trade growth at Canadian ports (7.0% increase in 2014), and 3.8% inbound trade growth at ports in the United States (6.1% in 2014). On a positive note, the Northwest Seaport Alliance containerized imports increased 23.1% year-over-year.

The Annex dives into several vital issues that have broader implications and are worthy of note during this year and in the future. Including continued problems and inefficiencies that lead to port congestion, West Coast infrastructure improvements, the SOLAS weight verification amendment, and effects of the Panama Canal expansion.

“This comprehensive report continues the FMC pledge to our port community by identifying activity by neighboring foreign ports so that they can assess their competitive abilities,” said the Commissioner.

Fourth Annual Update to the FMC Study of U.S. Inland Containerized Cargo Moving through Canadian and Mexican Seaports

Thanks and credit for their vital assistance in preparing the report go to Colin D. Rowe, a rising 3rd year law student at Tulane University’s School of Law who served as the Commissioner’s summer intern, Michael Gordon, Senior Maritime Advisor in the FMC’s Bureau of Trade Analysis, and Jewel Jennings-Wright, who is Counsel to the Commissioner. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of Commissioner Lidinsky.

Commissioner Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. Disclosure:
I am a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The Federal Maritime Commission is an independent regulatory agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices. With that said, I should emphasize that my thoughts and comments here are mine and mine alone – they do not reflect the position of the Commission, and they should not be construed to represent the positions of any of my fellow Commissioners.