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April 08, 2020 | USDA Grain Transportation Report
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Shippers Ask FMC to Publish Container Availability Rule

Rule provides guidance on fair and reasonable practices to assess demurrage and detention fees on shippers

On March 16, a group of 67 trade associations sent a letter asking the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) chairman to finalize and publish its Proposed Interpretive Rule on Demurrage and Detention.

The proposed rule provides guidance on fair and reasonable practices for ocean carriers and marine terminals to assess demurrage and detention fees on shippers.

Shippers maintain that detention and demurrage should not be assessed for a failure (outside the shipper’s control) to return or pick up containers during the free allowance period.

In their letter, the shippers assert that current practices on demurrage and detention fees threaten the competitive edge of U.S. exports globally while making imports more expensive to consumers and manufacturers.

Through the proposed rulemaking, FMC aims to clearly define demurrage, detention, and dispute resolution policies and to clarify how ocean carriers and marine terminals should alert shippers when their cargo is available for retrieval. 

Information provided by USDA Grain Transportation Report.

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