A petition has been filed by a coalition representing retailers, manufacturers, truckers, transportation intermediaries and other business groups requesting the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to set a new policy preventing terminal operators and ocean carriers from charging demurrage and detention when uncontrollable incidents such as storms and strikes keep truckers from accessing the terminals to pick up full containers or return empty containers.
As in the petition, “Recent events involving port congestion, labor strife, and ocean carrier bankruptcy, inclement weather and other disruption events have had crippling effects on U.S. ports and the stakeholders who rely on the efficient movement of goods”. During these incidents, storage and use charges have continued ““even though shippers, consignees and drayage providers had no control over the events that caused the ports to be inaccessible and prevented them from retrieving their cargo or returning equipment.”
Link to National Retail Federation public policy notice that also include access to the Petition filed with the FMC: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/businesses-ask-fmc-address-fees-charged-when-port-disruptions-delay-pickup-of
In other news, in the effort to reduce port congestion, the FMC has issued their Supply Chain Innovation Teams Interim Status Report.
The three teams, consisting of importers, carriers, truckers, marine terminal operators, labor unions, chassis providers, non-vessel-operating carriers, and railroads that first met eight months ago, have all concluded that sharing information through a national informational portal, related to container movements through the terminal and out will allow parties to better predict and track cargo flows.
Debb Minskey, with IKEA Purchasing Services said, “We are already kind of disadvantaging ourselves, the vessel arrives, the container has to get off the vessel. It’s got to sit on the ground before there is any visibility. We want the container as much as the trucker wants it out. But we are already behind the eight ball because it’s too late. Our truckers need to plan today what they need to do tomorrow.”
The Executive Summary of the Federal Maritime Commission’s Supply Chain Innovation Teams Interim Status Report is available at: http://www.fmc.gov/news/supply_chain_interim_status_report.aspx