Carl W. Bentzel - Federal Maritime Commission - Federal Maritime Commission
US Flag iconThis site is an official U.S. Government Website.


Carl W. Bentzel

Counsel: John Young
Contact Information
Phone: 202-523-5723 Email:


Commissioner Carl Bentzel was nominated by President Trump on June 12, 2019, to a term expiring on June 30, 2024. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination on November 21, 2019, and he was sworn into office on December 9, 2019.

Prior to his appointment at the Federal Maritime Commission, Commissioner Bentzel created and established a consulting services company where he represented clients on regulatory and legislative issues within the areas of transportation, energy and other areas of federal regulatory oversight. From 2004-2014, Commissioner Bentzel served as Vice President and head of the federal advocacy division of a full-scale public relations firm, the DCI Group.

Prior to working in the private sector, Mr. Bentzel served the public sector for ten years as a Senate professional committee staffer including, most recently, as Senior Democratic Counsel of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He moved to his role in the Senate after spending four years on the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he served as Counsel for Maritime Policy.

Commissioner Bentzel’s primary areas of responsibility on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation were issues on maritime transportation; rail, surface and pipeline transportation; energy transportation and hazardous materials; and homeland security in these areas.  While working in the Senate, Commissioner Bentzel served as one of the principals in crafting the Maritime Security Act of 1996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and in 2002, after the attacks on 9/11, the requirements mandated for maritime security through the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.  He also dealt with matters impacting economic regulation of rail and surface industries before the Surface Transportation Board, and a variety of energy related regulatory issues.

For his efforts in developing and negotiating passage of Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, Commissioner Bentzel was awarded the Coast Guard’s Medal for Meritorious Public Service and the Maritime Security Council’s Man of the Year award.  Mr. Bentzel is also the author of the chapter on Port Security within McGraw-Hill’s Handbook on Homeland Security.

Commissioner Bentzel earned his Bachelor of Arts from St. Lawrence University, his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama, and his Master of Laws from the Admiralty Law Institute, Tulane University.

Related Articles

Statement by Commissioner Bentzel On Surface Transportation Board Testimony On Kansas City Southern and Canadian Pacific Merger
Posted: September 29, 2022

Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel testified before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Tuesday on possible supply chain impacts of the proposed Kansas City Southern (KCS) and Canadian Pacific (CP) merger. “I respectfully urge the Surface Transportation Board to disapprove the consolidation of the railroad systems of the CP and the KCS… Read More »

Statement of Commissioners Max M. Vekich and Carl W. Bentzel regarding the NPRM on the Definition of Unreasonable Refusal to Deal with Respect to Vessel Space Accommodation
Posted: September 13, 2022

This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking provides an important first step in elaborating on how the Federal Maritime Commission will assess what constitutes an unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate with respect to vessel space accommodation.  While the proposed rule establishes parameters for consideration, there may be additional steps that would… Read More »

Statement by Commissioner Bentzel on East Coast Empty Container Congestion
Posted: August 9, 2022

I want to agree and associate myself with the statement made by Chairman Maffei in the aftermath of his visit to the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, and his concerns on the mounting challenge of returning empty containers to the marine terminals servicing the port.  In my view, the… Read More »

Statements of  Commissioners Bentzel, Sola, and Vekich regarding Comments Submitted to the Surface Transportation Board on the Proposed Consolidation of the Railroad Systems of Canadian Pacific Railway and the Kansas City Southern Railway
Posted: June 23, 2022

Federal Maritime Commissioners Carl W. Bentzel, Louis E. Sola, and Max M. Vekich, in their capacity as individual Commissioners, submitted comments Wednesday to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) objecting to the proposed consolidation of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Ltd. (CP) and the Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS). The three Commissioners urged… Read More »