Federal Maritime Commission to take closer look at “Fair Port Practices”

Witnesses to be invited to testify at the hearing will include: legal representatives of the petitioners, trade and shipper associations representing various interests, individual importers, exporters, customs brokers, freight forwarders, logistics companies, trucking and drayage companies, VOCCs, port authorities, and MTOs.

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In a highly anticipated meeting the The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) convened this week in a closed session to receive a briefing on Petition Number P4-16, the petition of the Coalition for Fair Port Practices for rulemaking.

Here, commissioners reviewed numerous public written comments that have been submitted in response to the Petition of the Coalition for Fair Port Practices Rulemaking. Petition Number 4-16 concerns demurrage, detention and per diem business practices and charges being assessed at various ports around the country by marine terminal operators (MTO) and vessel ocean common carriers (VOCCs).

“Following discussions on the various causes of such assessments and the wide variety of MTO and VOCC business practices disclosed by the comments, the Commission voted to hold public hearings on the petition,” says FMC spokesman, John DeCrosta.

Witnesses to be invited to testify at the hearing will include: legal representatives of the petitioners, trade and shipper associations representing various interests, individual importers, exporters, customs brokers, freight forwarders, logistics companies, trucking and drayage companies, VOCCs, port authorities, and MTOs.

Jennifer Hedrick, executive director of the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) told LM in an interview that she was “delighted” to see that the agency will hold hearings to hear directly from affected stakeholders. 

“The League is joined in the coalition by over 20 associations, collectively representing hundreds of shippers and transportation providers who seek fair detention and demurrage practices at our nation’s ports,” she says. “We look forward to working with the FMC and others to pursue workable resolutions to issues that have created penalties for beneficial cargo owners due to delays and disruptions outside of their control.”

The hearings will be held at the FMC Headquarters in Washington D.C. The Commission will publish details on schedule and invited panel participants as soon as all arrangements are finalized.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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