Maersk, Hyundai and MSC have all announced they will no longer be assessing per diem or demurrage charges on days when the terminal is closed. This decision is a HUGE win for cargo owners and motor carriers alike.
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has been looking into ocean carrier practices and their assessment of these charges, even assessing large fines for abuses.
The ocean carriers have long asserted the fees are meant to incentivize the timely movement of containers.
It is expected the FMC will issue a ruling that such charges are not incentivizing container movement but rather are punitive in nature. The “incentivize” argument loses credibility when the containers cannot physically be picked up or returned. It looks like Maersk, Hyundai and MSC are getting ahead of such a ruling.
We are hopeful all ocean carriers will join these three and eliminate demurrage and per diem when the terminal is closed.
In other news…a bill has been introduced in the US Congress to shore up and fix the Ocean Shipping Reform Act passed last year.