The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has ratified the Pacific ports operational improvements agreement (FMC Agreement no. 201227), which is aimed to improve the efficiency of West Coast port operations.
After its review, the FMC unanimously voted for the agreement to be effective from today.
FMC chairman Mario Cordero said: "Given the exigent circumstances related to congestion, this agreement’s effectiveness is timely.
"Through this agreement, the parties seek to address issues that could help to alleviate the congestion that is plaguing US Pacific Coast ports."
The commission evaluated information received from the parties in response to questions raised by staff and commissioners during the review period.
It also removed agreement authority in order to address commission concerns, including the proposed authority to impose fees and charges on third parties, as well as consideration of public comments submitted on the agreement.
"While the agreement has great potential to achieve this goal, the commission will closely monitor the activities of the agreement to identify emerging 6(g) concerns and act quickly should it become necessary," Cordero added.
"This agreement is an example of supply chain participants cooperating and working together under the authority of the Shipping Act to improve port productivity, innovation and efficiency."
According to the FMC, this agreement will allow the involved parties to discuss and exchange information, and reach agreement on measures to enhance efficiency of operations at US West Coast port facilities in order to minimise congestion.