• ITVI.USA
    15,285.200
    -0.340
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.779
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.420
    -0.030
    -0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,255.990
    -0.630
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,285.200
    -0.340
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.779
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.420
    -0.030
    -0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,255.990
    -0.630
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Shippers call for FMC action on detention, demurrage

More needs to be done about these “unfair and unreasonable” fees, according to a joint letter from 94 industry organizations.

   Groups representing shippers and truckers told the Federal Maritime Commission Monday they believe container carriers and terminals may be violating the Shipping Act by charging them unfair and unreasonable fees for detention and demurrage.
   A letter signed by 94 organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, National Industrial Transportation Leage, National Retail Federation, and Agriculture Transportation Coalition, told FMC Chairman Mario Cordero and other commissioners that “BCOs and their motor carriers are frustrated by the fact that they are being charged detention and demurrage fees when factors beyond their control make it impossible for them to return chassis or empty containers, or pick up or drop off loaded containers within free time limits.”
   They added that “the practice of charging detention and demurrage under such circumstances represents an unfair and unreasonable practice that may potentially violate the Shipping Act.”
   The groups said the report released earlier this month by the FMC “captures these concerns and identifies a number of actions that could be taken by the Marine Terminal Operators (MTOs), Vessel Operating Common Carriers (VOCCs), Motor Carriers, and BCOs,” and that “many of our organizations and our members will be evaluating the private sector options outlined in this report, specifically those directed at the BCO and motor carrier community.”
   The FMC report noted that BCOs and truckers that are “unhappy with the rates, rules, and practices of VOCCs and MTOs can seek to change them through: requests for assistance of CADRS (the FMC’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution) in informal mediation; litigation before the FMC; petitioning the Commission for declaratory orders or rulemakings; or litigation in state or federal court, possibly asserting contractual claims such as excusable non-performance under the contract due to force majeure, impossibility, or frustration.”
   In the letter sent Monday to Cordero, the 94 organizations said, “While we appreciate the FMC’s efforts to date, we believe that more needs to be done so that MTOs and VOCCs discontinue the practice of assessing detention and demurrage charges when BCOs and their motor carriers are unable to pick up or drop off loaded containers, or return equipment within free time limits because of factors beyond their control.”

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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