House of Representatives in the U.S. this December did pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act is that it would among things seek to end abusive detention and demurrage practices at U.S. ports.
House of Representatives – Updated Laws
The bill is the first major update for laws that govern U.S. maritime port operations in more than 20 years. It was introducing by Representatives John Garamendi (D-California) and Dusty Johnson (R-South Dakota).
A new rulemaking by the Federal Maritime Commission is to prohibit “unjust and unreasonable detention and demurrage rules practices.” This is what the legislation mandates. Also, look into the appropriate billing parties for those charges.
To establish definitions for demurrage, detention, cargo availability for retrieval, and associated free time, if it becomes the law. When the FMC rulemaking would be requiring. Moreover, it is pertinent to establish that demurrage and detention rules are not independent revenue sources. However, but to incentivize efficiencies in the ocean transportation network. That would include the retrieval of cargo and return of the equipment.
Now, the bill is in the Senate with the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Thus it must be passing by the committee before it does move on to the full Senate.
Abusive Practices on American Trucking Companies
The legislation that is needed to end abusive practices that are imposing on American trucking companies at U.S. maritime ports by ocean carriers. That is what the American Trucking Association has said. In fact, most of them are really foreign-owned.
Trucking Industry Seeks Relief
The trucking industry is seeking relief from excessive detention and demurrage charges. Many of them see them as unfair fees that are levied on motor carriers by ocean carriers and marine terminal operators. That is when the shipping containers are not moving on schedule. However, there have been delays which are often due to factors completely outside of truckers’ control. Thus it is often the result of inefficiencies that are causing by the ocean carriers themselves.
There are members of ATA’s Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference and Agriculture and Food Transporters Conference who say such changes are pertinent to improving the treatment of truckers which are servicing the ports.