Global Shipping Crisis: Toy Association Meets with Federal Maritime Commission

June 15, 2021 | With exorbitant increases in shipping rates and a global lack of ships and containers, The Toy Association continues to advocate for corporate and government interventions to address the mounting shipping crisis.

Recently, Ed Desmond, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of federal government affairs, spoke with a senior official at the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to discuss the issue. Desmond provided the FMC with feedback from Toy Association members who are experiencing high shipping rates and container shortage issues.

The FMC has heard complaints across industries and while it is not authorized to regulate shipping rates, it has increased monitoring of shipping lines and is completing a report on the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain. FMC Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye issued information demand orders to ocean carriers and marine terminal operators to determine if legal obligations related to detention and demurrage practices are being met.

At the FMC’s April meeting, FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei stated: “While most participants in the supply chain are doing their best to cope with the unprecedented import boom, there are reports of container ship lines and terminal operators unfairly taking advantage of the situation or denying service to exporters in a way that may violate the Shipping Act. We must get to the bottom of this situation ASAP and that’s why Commissioner Dye’s investigation is crucial. Just yesterday, Commissioner Dye and I met with the leaders of two important House subcommittees. These issues clearly have their attention and companies providing ocean transportation services would be well served to voluntarily take steps that address these challenges.”

Toy Association members are encouraged to immediately send comments on their shipping rate increases and container shortage issues to the FMC at

A recording of a Toy Association webinar held in May is now available exclusively to Toy Association members. The one-hour discussion with Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, provides an update on the ports and a forecast of what toy companies can expect during the 2021 holiday shipping season. The Toy Association is planning another webinar to address shipping challenges; an announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

The Toy Association continues to actively engage on this issue both in the U.S as well as globally and will keep the toy & play community apprised of developments.