The global supply chain continues to struggle with delivery delays, rising costs, outright stock outages, driver shortages and more. The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD), a trade association of chemical distributors and their supply-chain partners, has kept its members and the press up to date on the current situation, as well as its efforts to offer potential solutions.

The below items are taken from a recent media tip sheet that I received from the NACD, offering its recommendations on changes that must be implemented to address the current crisis and to help ensure supply chain efficiency in the future. I thought I would share it with our readers.

 

Pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act

Unfair ocean shipping provider practices are driving up shipping rates and, ultimately, prices for consumer goods, while threatening access to life-saving products. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 will go far in strengthening the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) current enforcement abilities, expanding its authority to ensure industry-wide compliance with federal law, and establishing a streamlined process for addressing demurrage and detention complaints.

NACD thanks Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) for their leadership in introducing the bill and thanks the entire House of Representatives for voting to advance it, and urges the Senate to swiftly introduce and pass a companion bill.

 

Infrastructure Investment

A reliable network of transportation options is vitally important to chemical distribution. NACD urges infrastructure dollars to be routed to address intermodal freight bottlenecks.

 

Rail Reform

Greater freight rail competition, and a strong and engaged Surface Transportation Board (STB) that can review and evaluate commercial fairness and reciprocity issues such as demurrage and accessorial charges can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our nation’s freight rail system. NACD urges the Biden administration to ensure a full and functioning STB that can continue the important work of moving forward on freight rail reforms,

 

Address the Truck Driver Shortage

While NACD has long advocated for legislation to address the truck driver shortage, our nation’s shortage of truck drivers is impacting chemical distributors’ ability to provide on-time product delivery now more than ever. Contributing to the shortage is the slow replacement of retiring drivers because commercial drivers are not permitted to move goods interstate until they have reached 21 years of age. Today’s interstate restrictions hurt businesses that are bound by contract to deliver a product on time. The DRIVE-Safe Act legislation, now being considered in both the House and the Senate, would address this shortage by lifting interstate restrictions for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders under the age of 21. NACD supports passage of the DRIVE-Safe Act and any legislation that addresses our massive truck driver shortage.

 

Supporting the U.S. Manufacturing Base for Shipping Containers and Chassis

A shortage of shipping containers and chassis is a major contributor to the current supply chain crisis. While some chassis companies are looking to ramp up production, most of the raw materials and components are sourced or manufactured overseas and are subject to the same price increases and delays that so many other products are facing.

PCI applauds the NACD for its continued efforts on behalf of the chemicals industry and the over 750,000 customers that its member companies process, formulate, blend, re-package, warehouse, transport and market chemical products for. For more information on NACD, click here.