Almond Alliance Hails Congressional Efforts Expressing Concern Over Carriers Declining to Ship U.S. Ag Exports from U.S. Ports

March 12, 2021 – – The Almond Alliance is actively involved in efforts by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, a broad coalition of agricultural trade organizations, who are expressing deep concern over reports that certain vessel-operating common carriers (VOCCs) are declining to ship U.S. agricultural commodity exports from U.S. ports. VOCCs serve as an integral link between American producers and overseas customers, without which contracts cannot be met and the ability to compete in or even access foreign markets is threatened.

“The Alliance is participating in a national coalition working to educate our federal representatives on this critical issue,” said Alliance Chairman Mike Curry. “We are pleased to see that more than 100 Congressional representatives have signed on to a letter to the Federal Maritime Commission expressing grave concerns about this issue and urging the Commission to resolve this matter. The Alliance intends to vigorously pursue a positive resolution of this issue which is greatly impacting the California almond industry.” California produces about 80% of the world’s almonds and approximately 70 percent is exported. Almonds are California’s top agricultural export.

The coalition has acted on multiple fronts to enlist the support of federal legislators in calling upon the Maritime Commission for action.

Senators call on federal commission to back exporters  

Several United States Senators have sent a letter pushing the Federal Maritime Commission to protect the access of exporters to ocean carriers amid surging demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Maritime Commission ordered ocean carriers and marine terminal operators to provide information determining whether legal obligations related to detention and demurrage under the Shipping Act of 1984 are being met. The coalition was led by the Almond Alliance, AgTc, Sunkist, Tyson, Western Growers and National Grain and many other trade associations.

To view the letter, please click here.

Over 100 Congressional Representative send Letter to Maritime Commission

Over 100 Congressional representatives have shared their mounting concerns over reports that certain vessel-operating common carriers (VOCCs) are declining to ship U.S. agricultural commodity exports from US ports. While they expressed appreciation of the steps already taken by the Federal Maritime Commission to investigate these alarming reports, they further urged the Commission to resolve this matter. They called on the Commission to provide monthly updates to Congress until the matter is resolved.

To view the letter, please click here.

Over 70 agricultural trade organizations sent a letter to President Biden  

In an effort led by Agriculture Transportation Coalition, over 70 trade association sent a letter to President Biden expressing concern and frustration of the great commercial challenges of the actions of ocean container carriers, including declining to carry our export cargo, severely injuring US agriculture and preventing U.S. agriculture from delivering affordably and dependably to international markets.

To view the letter, please click here.