Court grants FMC request to bar 4 NVOs
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has granted a request by the Federal Maritime Commission for a preliminary injunction against three companies and one unincorporated entity, prohibiting all four from acting as non-vessel-operating common carriers.
The three companies cited by the court are All-In-One Shipping Inc., and its executive, Joshua Morales; Around The World Shipping Inc., and its executive, Daniel Cuadrado, and Boston Logistics Corp. and its executive, Elizabeth F. Hudson. The unincorporated entity is Global Direct Shipping, which also operates in Florida.
The FMC had asked for injunctive relief Jan. 12, which the court granted Jan. 17.
“We are pleased that the court acted so promptly,” said Steven R. Blust, chairman of the FMC. “Shippers have a right to expect that companies providing ocean transportation services are licensed and bonded in accordance with the Shipping Act.”
The FMC’s order filed before the court said that the commission had received more than 250 consumer complaints from shippers regarding the four companies and the individuals named, alleging that the companies lost or failed to deliver cargo and refused to return pre-paid ocean freight. The FMC also alleged they charged shippers for marine insurance which they never obtained, misled shippers as to the whereabouts of cargo, charged shippers inflated rates and withheld cargo until that rate was paid, and failed to pay the common carrier.
“The FMC decided to seek injunction relief to enjoin the defendants from conducting unlawful activities pending the completion of the FMC’s formal investigation,” the commission said in a statement.
The court’s injunction prohibits the companies from acting as NVOs without a license, proof of financial responsibility, or public tariff. Violation of the injunction could lead to them being held in civil contempt by the court.