Carriers complain to FMC about N.Y.-N.J. fee
A group of nine shipping lines are asking the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission to find a new fee being charged by the Port Authority of New York illegal.
In a complaint filed earlier this month, carriers China Shipping, COSCO, Evergreen, Hanjin, Horizon Lines, 'K' Line, NYK, United Arab Shipping and Yang Ming say the $4.95-per-TEU cargo facility charge (CFC) is unlawful, and that they do not receive services commensurate with the fee while it benefits other port users.
The new charge went into effect March 14 and replaced both an intermodal container lift fee for containers moving in and out of the port by rail and a truck fee for interchange of containers.
“These rail and truck use-specific fees were eliminated in order to shift to the general CFC fee to recover the revenues previously generated by those fees,” the carriers say in their complaint to the FMC. They say they do generally not use the port’s ExpressRail intermodal facilities or its system for interchange of containers “because the movement of containers beyond the terminals by truck usually is not within the complainants terms of carriage.”
The lines say the CFC was instituted primarily to recover the capital cost of constructing the port’s ExpressRail infrastructure.
They say the port “eliminated the rail fee that previously had been assessed only against containers of ocean carriers that utilized the rail system to recover these capital costs. The port instead now assesses the new CFC against all carriers regardless of the extent of their ExpressRail utilization.
“The CFC, in effect, reduces the per-container costs for rail users from a rail fee of $57.50 for each container lift to the CFC assessed fee of $9.90 per 40-foot container, with the difference being picked up by the non-rail users. As a result, the port-imposed CFC relieves the predominant ExpressRail users of their prior obligations under the rail fee and those users now are being significantly subsidized by the complainants,” the FMC filing says. ' Chris Dupin