You may recall, back in 2020, the Intermodal Carrier Conference (IMCC) of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) brought a complaint to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) against the ocean carriers asserting the ocean carriers were in violation of the Shipping Act for mandating the brand of chassis motor carriers could use on merchant haulage moves.

The IMCC claimed $1.8B in damages due to the ocean carriers leveraging of their combined carrier and merchant haulage volumes in order to obtain better pricing from the chassis providers. Meanwhile, the motor carriers were forced to use the ocean carrier’s selected chassis provider at a much higher rate.

The FMC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, Erin Wirth, gave the IMCC a resounding win and agreed the ocean carriers were in violation of the Shipping Act. In the ruling Judge Wirth states, “Where an exclusive arrangement has been contractually created by the ocean carrier, and where this prevents a motor carrier from using a chassis at at lower rate from an alternative chassis provider of its choice, the motor carrier is financially harmed and the market for chassis is restrained.”

The ocean carriers will appeal the ruling so stay tuned.

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