US Footwear Industry Lobbies Washington Over Spiralling Container Freight Bills

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday August 24, 2021

The US footwear industry is starting to lobby its government over spiralling costs and delays from its use of container shipping in the current abnormal market conditions.

Industry body the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America is calling on its members to write to write to Members of Congress over the issue.

"The current shipping environment is hurting our ability to deliver goods to consumers," the organisation said in a note on its website.

"We are facing unprecedented challenges with transit delays, container shortages, and unbelievably high fees, as a small number of ocean carriers control limited vessel space for our industry."

The organisation is lending its support for a draft bill introduced by John Garamendi and Dusty Johnson earlier this month seeking to establish minimum requirements for service contracts to avoid freight being unreasonably refused, to set up a new process to deal with complaints over unexpected charges and to give new enforcement powers to the Federal Maritime Commission.

The world's users of shipping are growing increasingly frustrated with the rise in their freight bills seen since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, with some spot rates now ten times higher than before. The FMC announced an investigation into the issue earlier this month, and one furniture retailer is taking container lines to court.