Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have introduced legislation aimed at compensating vessel owners that want to divert ships from the U.S. West Coast to less-congested Gulf and East Coast ports.
The Supply Chain Emergency Response Act, introduced this week by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., redirects $125 million of unspent money from the CARES Act to help owners of vessels currently anchored off the U.S. West Coast to transit through the Panama Canal and dock at U.S. Gulf or East Coast ports instead.
Some vessels have been waiting at Los Angeles and Long Beach anchorages – which have been described by marine officials as “full” – over a month to berth.
In addition to helping vessel owners get compensated for costs associated with diverting their ships, Scott and Gimenez also see the legislation as a way to move more container business through Florida ports.
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