America’s hog farmers are the leading suppliers of high-quality pork, annually shipping more than $7 billion to overseas destinations. However, recent shipping delays at U.S. ports are disrupting exports. If these delays aren’t addressed soon, they could lead to serious bottlenecks for pork and other agricultural exports.
National Pork Producers Council President Jen Sorenson said while testifying before Congress, “Compounding the situation is the fact that carriers are failing to provide accurate notice to exporters of arrival/departure and cargo loading times, and then impose financial penalties on exporters for ‘missing’ those loading windows. These costs are ultimately passed down the supply chain to farmers.”
In discussing potential solutions to the bottlenecks, Sorenson urged for expanded operating hours for U.S. ports, and expedited Federal Maritime Commission enforcement preventing unreasonable financial penalties for exporters.
All U.S. ports are experiencing shipping delays, but the West Coast is the most heavily impacted as it sends products to Asian-Pacific destinations, one of U.S. pork’s top export markets.