APA Advisory - Ocean Shipping Reform Act Call to Action

October 4, 2021


SUBJECT:  Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 – Grassroots Call to Action


As reported in September Sparks and discussed briefly during the APA Annual Convention in San Antonio, the APA is participating in a large coalition comprised of over 90 trade associations representing importers, exporters, transportation providers and other supply chain stakeholders who strongly support the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (OSRA21), House bill HR 4996, introduced by Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD).

OSRA21 is intended to modernize the federal shipping law to address supply chain disruptions in the U.S. involving ocean shipping arrangements. Numerous industries, including the fireworks industry, are facing unprecedented challenges securing timely deliveries and access to adequate vessel capacity and equipment, while simultaneously experiencing skyrocketing shipping rates and demurrage and detention costs.

While OSRA21 is widely supported by thousands of importers and exporters, the dray community and other interests, foreign ocean carriers and certain maritime terminal interests oppose this legislation. Because of the opposition, we need every APA member to engage on this issue and help ensure the passage of OSRA21. The coalition has prepared this white paper addressing certain myths and falsehoods asserted by the opponents of OSRA21.

The coalition is currently focused on Congressional outreach to get co-sponsors for the bill. There are currently 28 cosponsors on the bill. Per a recent conference call with staff for Reps. Garamendi and Johnson, the goal is to get 100 cosponsors by the end of October.

Call to Action

Please refer to this template letter for you to put on your company letterhead.  Please edit the highlighted portions to include your company name and to also provide a brief summary about your company (e.g., importer of consumer / display fireworks; explain how your company has been negatively and financially impacted by the supply chain disruptions including lack of chassis, limited rail service, increased freight rates, detention and demurrage, etc.)

We are specifically targeting certain Members of Congress, so please review this OSRA21 Cosponsor target list.  Address your letter(s) to the Members of Congress (Representatives) where you have business operations and then email the letter(s) to the Representative’s staff member. We have provided the appropriate email address for the staff member in each Representative’s office on our target list.

Please take action now.  his is an opportunity for your voices to be heard on the shipping dysfunction and escalating rates, and to help us get OSRA21 passed.

If you need assistance, please contact APA Executive Director Julie Heckman at [email protected] or by phone at (240) 401-4513.

Advisory #2021-19