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NACD Press Release

Arlington, VA
March 24, 2022

Aileen Smith

NACD Urges Federal Maritime Commission to Investigate Potential Shipping Act Violation


Arlington, VA – Today, the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) joined other members of the Council of Chemical Association Executives (CCAE) in submitting a letter to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) that called on the agency to use its regulatory authority to investigate ocean carriers over concerns that carriers are intentionally refusing to move hazardous materials (HazMat). Under the Shipping Act, this would be a potential violation as carriers are prohibited from “unreasonably refusing to deal or negotiate.”

The full letter can be found here. It reads, in part, “Without intervention, the nation is at tremendous risk of shortages of essential chemicals and the goods that need these materials for their production. The carriers’ practices are also contributing to inflation, an already serious problem facing our nation.”

Since 2021, the chemical industry has faced severe delays, skyrocketing costs, and outright order rejections from ocean carriers over the transportation of HazMat. As a result, distributors have been unable to import products critical to U.S. economic and national security.

“Chemical distributors are facing a shipping crisis, make no mistake about it. While ocean carriers are continuing to make record profits, small businesses and distributors across the nation are the ones bearing the burden of shipping delays and rising costs,” said NACD President and CEO Eric R. Byer. “The time for delayed action is over, and FMC must exercise its authority to investigate ocean carriers for their unreasonable refusals to move HazMat.”


NACD and its over 400 member and Affiliate companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, established in 1991 as a condition of membership and a third party-verified management practice. For more information on NACD, visit