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S. 1298 (114th): Port Performance Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 5, 2015.

Port Performance Act

(Sec. 3) This bill directs the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) to: (1) establish a port performance statistics program to provide nationally consistent measures of performance of the nation's top 25 ports by tonnage, by 20-foot equivalent unit, and by dry bulk; and (2) submit annual reports that include statistics on capacity and throughput at such ports.

The BTS shall collect monthly port performance measures for each of such ports that receives federal assistance or is subject to federal regulation to submit an annual report to the BTS that includes monthly statistics on capacity and throughput as applicable to the specific configuration of the port, including:

the total capacity of inbound and outbound cargo; the total volume of inbound and outbound cargo; the average number of lifts per hour of containers by crane; the average vessel turn time by vessel type; the average cargo or container dwell time; port storage capacity and utilization; the average truck time and rail time at ports; and any additional metrics as determined by the BTS after receiving recommendations from a working group established by this Act. The BTS shall commission a working group, from which it shall obtain recommendations for:

specifications and data measurements for such port performance measures; additionally needed data elements for measuring port performance; and a process for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to collect timely and consistent data, including identifying safeguards to protect proprietary information. The BTS shall ensure that the statistics compiled under this Act are readily accessible to the public, consistent with applicable security constraints and confidentiality interests.

The bill subjects such port performance measures to specified BTS disclosure restrictions.

(Sec. 4) DOT shall submit to Congress by one year before, and by three months before, the expiration of a maritime labor agreement and monthly thereafter until a new agreement is adopted, a report that includes port performance indicators at affected ports, including:

the number and type of vessels awaiting berthing, including average wait time; the number of cancelled vessel calls; an estimate of the economic impact associated with any delays both at the port and across the national economy; an estimate of the amount of time required to clear any congestion; the average number of positions ordered and filled; and any other factors that might have created delays.