Senate Passes Wicker’s FREIGHT Act

April 1, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today released the following statement regarding the Senate’s unanimous passage of Senators Klobuchar and Thune’s Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which includes Ranking Member Wicker’s Facilitating Relief for Efficient Intermodal Gateways to Handle Transportation (FREIGHT) Act. 

 “As we emerge the pandemic, Americans continue to feel the impacts of the supply chain crisis. The Senate took an important step today to support the freight transportation system by unanimously passing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act with the FREIGHT Act,” Wicker said. “This legislation would make targeted reforms to federal ocean shipping oversight. This will give shippers an avenue for relief from unfair and unreasonable practices while avoiding heavy-handed regulation. I am glad this bill includes my FREIGHT Act, which would support the broader transportation network through the use of data, regulatory streamlining, and greater oversight. I look forward to getting this legislation to the President’s desk quickly to provide relief to American businesses.”

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act would make key reforms to the Federal Maritime Commission’s oversight of the ocean shipping industry, including enhancing the Commission’s oversight of detention and demurrage charges, establishing a faster process for review of the charges, and authorizing the Commission to add other “essential terms” necessary for consideration in service contracts. The FREIGHT Act, which the Senate Commerce Committee also approved as a standalone bill, addresses broader challenges to moving freight, such as ensuring the Commission has the staff and resources it needs to conduct its oversight work, collecting data on container and chassis dwell time, studying best practices for chassis pools, and reducing burdens to training truck drivers.

Click here to read the bill.