US Senate Votes for Port Productivity Bill

New legislation that will require US ports to commit to a monthly port productivity review in order to monitor productivity and congestion levels was voted on last week by the US Senate,  the Journal of Commerce reports.

According to the legislation’s co-sponsor Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, the bill requires the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to create a port performance statistics program and update Congress annually on the capacity and performance of key ports.

The bill is seen as a way to avoid a repeat of crippling port congestion,  similar to what US West Coast ports faced earlier this year.

In a 13-11 vote, committee Senators gave their stamp of approval to the Port Transparency Act, part of the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act.

In an effort to determine whether labor negotiations have an impact on port productivity, the legislation would also require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to report on the state of port performance before and after the expiration of labor contracts. The DOT reports would give legislators estimates on the economic impact and how long it will take for port productivity to be restored.

RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available