ARLINGTON, VA – The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) joined other members of the Council of Chemical Association Executives (CCAE) in submitting a letter to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) that called on the agency to use its regulatory authority to investigate ocean carriers over concerns that carriers are intentionally refusing to move hazardous materials (HazMat). The letter states that under the Shipping Act, this would be a potential violation, as carriers are prohibited from “unreasonably refusing to deal or negotiate.”

The letter states, “Without intervention, the nation is at tremendous risk of shortages of essential chemicals and the goods that need these materials for their production. The carriers’ practices are also contributing to inflation, an already serious problem facing our nation.”

According to NACD, the chemical industry has faced severe delays, skyrocketing costs, and outright order rejections from ocean carriers over the transportation of HazMat since 2021. As a result, distributors have been unable to import products critical to U.S. economic and national security.

“Chemical distributors are facing a shipping crisis, make no mistake about it. While ocean carriers are continuing to make record profits, small businesses and distributors across the nation are the ones bearing the burden of shipping delays and rising costs,” said NACD President and CEO Eric R. Byer. “The time for delayed action is over, and FMC must exercise its authority to investigate ocean carriers for their unreasonable refusals to move HazMat.”

The full letter can be found here.