Mar A d Awards Contract To Study Perishable Commodities

The Maritime Administration has commissioned Manalytics, Inc., 625 Third Street, San Francisco, Calif. 94107, to undertake a 12-month study "to recommend specific ways United States-flag lines can increase profitable par- ticipation in the movement of perishable commodities to foreign markets," according to Elliot Schrier, president of the San Francisco, Calif.-based research firm.

"Our previous research indicates that domestic perishable cargo shippers and shipping lines are potentially able to achieve much greater penetration of certain goods in certain overseas markets. This penetration would not only be of economic benefit to the carriers, to agriculture and to other producers of perishables, but it would create new jobs and have a favorable impact on the nation's balance of payments," Mr. Schrier stated.

The study will analyze the market characteristics of perishable imports and exports that would move in an expanded refrigerated service at ocean freight rates that the commodities could bear while returning a profit to the U.S.-flag carriers. In a related study for the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Bureau of Standards, Manalytics is examining the domestic perishables logistics system.

"At this time, there is no definitive information on the potential demand for refrigerated, ventilated, or controlled-atmosphere containers or other refrigerated ocean transport," he commented.

"As a result, U.S.-flag carriers may not be equipped to meet the market as it exists. We will report on such things as the volume and seasonality of perishable goods shipments, trade balance, roundtrip transit times, and the quality of service and rate levels that shipments require at differing market volumes. We will also weigh competition from foreignflag liner and nonliner carriers and recommend actions the Maritime Administration and the carriers should take to realize the potential.

"Such information," he concludes, "will place U.S.-flag carriers in a better position to structure their refrigerated services to increase their market share of perishable goods shipments at a profit. It should also assist U.S.

exporters of perishable goods to increase their markets in both volume and coverage." Bertram E. Rifas of Manalytics is serving as program director.

Manalytics has formed an advisory committee in connection with the research study, comprised of representatives from American President Lines, Pacific Far East Line, Prudential Lines, Moore- McCormack, United States Lines and Sea-Land Service.

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