ECMC Calls for Support of Essential Workers

Transportation Workers Should be Vaccine Priority

By Marco Poisler, Chief Operating Officer, Global Energy and Capital Projects, UTC Overseas Inc., and past chairman of the Exporters Competitive Maritime Council (ECMC)

Throughout the past year, Covid-19 has presented every one of us with challenges from many fronts. We have seen unsung heroes emerge from various industries: first responders, teachers, and grocery store workers, along with those who keep the supply chain moving. As an organization dedicated to representing U.S. exporters, the Exporter’s Competitive Maritime Council respects and honors these men and women and must advocate for those in our industry to be similarly prioritized: the many humble truckers and port, warehouse, and longshore workers, who are working tirelessly through the pandemic as essential workers.

As we have seen recently at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, case numbers among dockworkers are rising and causing extreme delays in the supply chain. These same workers are responsible for delivering personal protective equipment, or PPE, and handling cargoes that are critical for our infrastructure. Prioritizing transportation and logistics workers in vaccine distribution will ensure smooth port operations and keep our economy moving.

The ECMC has submitted a letter to recognize and communicate the importance of vaccine prioritization for transportations workers as part of public comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Jan. 27.
January 4, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
1600 Clifton Road NE, MS H24-8
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
Subject: February 24-25, 2021 ACIP Meeting, Docket No. CDC-2020-0121
Dear Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Members:
I am writing on behalf of the Exporters Competitive Maritime Council (ECMC). As the most comprehensive group of companies representing America’s export, maritime and capital projects industry in the United States, we urge the distinguished members of ACIP to prioritize Covid vaccine access for the hard-working men and women who are keeping our economy moving: commercial transportation workers.
ECMC is an organization whose purpose is to represent the interests of major United States Exporters and Suppliers related to the transportation of Capital Project related cargoes in the export trade of the United States. Our membership is comprised of U.S.-based companies and third-party service providers working in the capital project supply chain. Member companies of the ECMC employ several hundred thousand people, generate over US$100 billion in project cargo value and over US$6 billion in transportation revenue via air, marine, road and rail carriage per year. We also advocate on behalf of the people who keep our industry moving, many of whom have endured incredible hardships this year to keep our nation’s economy moving.
Transportation workers – truckers, seamen serving aboard U.S.-flag vessels, terminal operators, warehouse operators, and logistics providers – play a central and critical role in the nation’s supply chain. In March, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) classified transportation workers as essential to the continued viability of our nation’s infrastructure for the duration of the pandemic. This is because the ability to continue safely delivering medicine, food, fuel, water and other basic necessities in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and to continue delivering major capital projects at major U.S. ports uninterrupted are critical to the nation’s safety and security.
CISA’s publication Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce affirms this position and recommends that the list “be used to being planning and preparing for the allocation of scarce resources used to protect essential workers against Covid-19.” Now, as the distribution of the Covid vaccine becomes part of the task these transportation workers are performing, their ability to do the job safely is more important than ever. Margaret Anne Kidd, Program Director of Supply Chain & Logistics Technology at the University of Houston College of Technology, put it this way:
“9/11 taught us valuable lessons about critical infrastructure such as maritime ports, which are the entry point for 95 percent of global trade destined for the United States and provide connection to air, rail and road transportation to move goods through the country, and warehousing to manage goods in transit. Port workers are the first point of contact for imported goods (and the last for exported goods) that travel through our nation’s ports, and they, along with the transportation workers they connect with, keep global supply chains and the economy operation. These essential critical infrastructure workers should be included in “Phase 1b” vaccinations in order to minimize not only supply chain disruption, but the harmful impact of supply chain disruptions on an already battered economy. Resiliency is purposeful action, and in this case, must include priority vaccine access to transportation workers.”
We understand that identifying a group for prioritization can be difficult. However, after 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration implemented the Transportation Worker Identification Card to keep track of individuals working in the maritime industry. Ensuring that all TWIC cardholders receive priority vaccine access would account for the majority of transportation workers.
Our nation’s ability to successfully confront the Covid-19 pandemic depends on the resilience and integrity of our transportation networks. The transportation industry plays a critical role in Covid-19 response and recovery efforts, and we urge you to please consider the essential nature of the transportation workforce as you implement the execution of plans for vaccine distribution.
Thank you for your support on this critical matter.
Marco Poisler
Past Chairman
The U.S. Exporters Competitive Maritime Council

Breakbulk Americas works closely with ECMC whose members are regular visitors and exhibitors to the event. For information about Breakbulk Americas 2021 visit

ECMC Member Companies:
Agility Project Logistics
GE Power & Water
Air Liquide
Amos Logistics
International Trade & Transportation Inc.
Babcock Power Inc.
Jacobs Engineering
Bechtel Corp.
KBR Inc.
Bertling Logistics Inc.
DB Schenker Inc.
Linde Engineering America
deugro (USA) Inc.
McDermott International Inc.
DHL Global Forwarding
S&B Engineers
Drexel Logistics
UTC Overseas Inc.
Fluor Corp.
Vogt Power
Fracht USA
Gamesa Wind US

About ECMC
The Exporters Competitive Maritime Council (ECMC) is an alliance of project cargo industry representatives working together to support, foster, and maintain the competitive advantage of U.S. domiciled companies in international trade through participation in and development of key initiatives. Visit for more information.
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