Ocean Shipping Reform Act Will Fund Investigations Of Unfair Shipping Costs, Says Cantwell

A bright red cargo ship with teal green containers makes its way across the blue ocean to the port of Seattle.
A cargo ship arrives at the port of Seattle. Food meant for export has been left at Northwest ports, says Senator Cantwell. (AP Photo)


New federal funding from a recently-approved bill will be used to investigate high shipping costs and produce left to rot in US ports. Correspondent Lauren Paterson reports. (Runtime :53)


Higher shipping costs and food left to spoil on the dock are big problems facing many Northwest ports.

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act, signed into law by President Biden last week, will help fund federal investigations into these issues.  

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, who championed the legislation, says overseas shipping costs have increased by around 40 percent. But that increase doesn’t seem tied to anything specific. And now, she wants the Federal Maritime Commission to investigate.

“I think this is an attempt for us to say that we need much more oversight of these practices,” says Cantwell.

“We need transparency, we need to understand these, these charges and to make sure there’s a level playing field for our growers in Washington state.”

Cantwell is hopeful an investigation into the price hikes and rotting food will get answers for growers, and eventually, help lower costs for Northwest consumers.