Airforwarders Association Hails Advancement of Ports and Waterways Bill in U.S. House

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Committee-endorsed Water Resources Reform and Development Act is critical to keeping America's freight network globally competitive.

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Well functioning seaports are critical to the movement of freight, and we don't want to see freight moving through other countries because our infrastructure isn't keeping up.

The Airforwarders Association (AfA), which represents more than 350 companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain, has applauded a U.S. House committee's approval of legislation to improve America's ports and waterways.

In a mark-up session yesterday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed and sent to the full House the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), which authorizes new projects for port improvement and would strengthen the nation's water transportation networks. The legislation would also cut red tape and bureaucracy in order to accelerate the completion of these projects.

"While our association and our members devote a great deal of our focus to air cargo, we are also mindful that moving freight requires the efficient operation of all forms of transportation into one intermodal network," said Brandon Fried, the AfA's Executive Director. "So we wholeheartedly support any type of 'port' improvements - air, sea and land - as vital to keeping that network in world-class condition and internationally competitive."

Fried noted that much of the cargo handled by the nation's air freight forwarders is transferred across two or more modes of transportation between shipper and receiver. By investing in port infrastructure, he said that the bi-partisan WRRDA will shore up an important part of the network, particularly at a time when the Panama Canal expansion will facilitate the movement of larger ships and countries like Brazil spend aggressively to modernize and expand their ports.

"This is a simple proposition for us - well functioning seaports are critical to the movement of freight, and we don't want to see freight moving through other countries because our infrastructure isn't keeping up," said Fried.

"In addition to authorizing the necessary funding for seaport and waterways improvements, the WRRDA will cut the time and cost it takes to get these important infrastructure projects designed, approved and completed. As a country, we need to preserve and strengthen our trade advantages and this is a great way to do it, so we are hopeful that Congress will keep these legislation moving and get it to the President's desk," he said.

The AfA is part of a broad-based coalition, organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that is supporting passage of the WRRDA as essential to improving American competitiveness, jobs and economic progress.

About the Airforwarders Association

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) represents more than 350 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain. The association's members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations. In short, they are the travel agents for freight shipments, moving cargo in the timeliest and most cost efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship. For more information, visit the association's website at airforwarders.org.

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David St John
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