MILBANK, SD, (KELO) – A bill to address supply chain and shipping issues is one more step towards the president’s office.
Valley Queen Cheese exports lactose to New Zealand, but this year cheese maker Milbank is having trouble.
“We’re trying to stock 2.5 million pounds of product sold, but we can’t ship,” said Jason Mischel, vice president of sales and milk supply for Valley Queen Cheese.
Vice President of Milk Sales and Supply Jason Mischel says it’s because the company is struggling to get shipping containers.
“So the effect for agriculture in South Dakota is that many containers that come from Asia leave our shores empty, so we see container ships returning to China full of empty containers while US agricultural exports remain in ports. ”Said Mischel.
Mischel says it comes down to economics.
“The steamboat companies can charge so much money to move cargo from Asia to the United States that they don’t want to wait for those containers to enter the Midwest, fill up, and get back on a ship to return to the United States. Asia or New Zealand. Zealand where we need it to go, ”said Mischel.
A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Representative for South Dakota Dusty Johnson seeks to alleviate issues like this.
“At present, there are no specific obligations on the major ocean carriers to treat US businesses or US agricultural producers fairly. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act, my bill, would ensure they have ground rules of the road that they must follow if they are to use US ports, ”said Representative Dusty Johnson.
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act was passed by the United States House on Wednesday.
“We believe that in the long term this will have very beneficial effects for the export industry. It’s really an attempt to force the steamboat companies to export American products when there are American products to export, ”said Mischel.
Mischel says short-term solutions are needed as well.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Efforts are also underway in the Senate to alleviate shipping issues.