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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

NRF recommends key port performance indicators for new USDOT program


A coalition led by the National Retail Federation (NRF) last week sent specific recommendations for tackling port congestion in preparation for the U.S. Department of Transportation's creation of a port performance statistics program.

In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the NRF and other organizations asked that he include a number of key performance indicators in the new program, which was created by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act passed by Congress late last year.

"Having efficient, modern ports is important for the free flow of international trade, both imports and exports, and critical for our respective industries," the coalition wrote in its letter to Foxx.

The coalition represents retailers, manufacturers, farmers, logistics providers, and other supply chain stakeholders.

They asked that the new program include the following performance indicators:
• activities at the berth, including the number of containers moved to or from a ship and the number of days a vessel sits at the berth;
• activities within marine terminal yards, including container dwell time and port capacity as measured by container throughput; and
• on-dock rail operations to evaluate the velocity through the port in places where ports can put together railroad trains of cargo on-dock.

"Our interest in performance measures is long-standing, but has been recently spurred by significant congestion and cargo delivery delays at the nation’s largest container ports," the letter stated. "These delays have a ripple effect throughout the supply chain, impacting all of our collective members, as well as the overall U.S. economy."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/18/2016