In September 2021, NRF launched an advocacy campaign urging retailers and consumers to send an S.O.S. to Congress calling on it to Save Our Shipments and address the crisis gripping America’s supply chains. We outlined three ways to address the supply chain crisis, which included passing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, adding more truck drivers to the workforce and passing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.
Thanks in no small part to the hard work and outreach to Congress by our network of retail advocates, President Biden and Congress listened to our S.O.S call and we have completed two of the three items on our Save Our Shipments to-do list.
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Save Our Shipments to-do list:
- Pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
- Add more truck drivers to the workforce
- Pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act
In November 2021, the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law. It included historic investments in our roads, bridges, rails and ports to help get America’s supply chains back on track, as well as new policies that add more truck drivers to the workforce to address the truck driver shortage.
The final step to Save Our Shipments is to enact the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (H.R. 4996) as introduced by Reps. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.
Longstanding unfair business practices by ocean carriers and terminal operators are further complicating supply chain disruptions and adding to port congestion challenges. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act would put in place common-sense reforms to address some of these ongoing issues that have been further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 8, we moved one step closer to completing our S.O.S. to-do list when the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act with bipartisan support. The U.S. Senate must now take up and pass this critical legislation and send it to President Biden’s desk for signature.
Passage of this bill is important to retailers of all sizes, especially small retailers like Trey Kraus of Carlton’s Men’s and Women’s Apparel in Rehoboth Beach, Del., who relies on global supply chains to stock his shelves and meet his customers’ needs.
“As if it’s not hard enough after two years of COVID-19, we now have to contend with serious supply chain delays that bottleneck our ports like never before,” Kraus says. “We need the Senate to finish the job and pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, now.”
Momentum is on our side and the Senate is expected to introduce and potentially vote on OSRA in early 2022. Join NRF in calling on members of the U.S. Senate to support the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 today.