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FMC Commissioner notes pick-up in trans-Pacific trades

In a statement on the impact of the coronavirus on the maritime industry, Federal Maritime Commissioner Carl Bentzel notes that, in response to its effects on Chinese manufacturing and logistics services, ocean carriers have been forced to cancel services (“blanked sailings”) to and from China and the United States. The Federal Maritime Commission has been monitoring levels of blanked sailings and conferring with ocean carrier representatives about levels of service and the potential resumption of normal trade. Information provided from shipping lines involved in the trans-Pacific trades indicates that cargo levels and services are resuming to pre-coronavirus levels. It should be expected that coronavirus impacts will linger over the next few weeks while vessels are engaged in the cross-Pacific transit, and hopefully, says the statement, “we are poised to achieve normalcy in the transport of goods,” though there may still be logistical challenges in processing cargoes into U.S. commerce.

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