The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has said the passing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) should, first and foremost, not make things worse. Well, it has!
OSRA shifted the responsibility of demurrage management and collection from the marine terminals to the ocean carriers, effective June 24, 2022. The problem is the ocean carriers are woefully unprepared to manage this process. They have no visibility to the date containers truly become available, especially when containers sit in closed yard locations for two weeks or are idle awaiting movement to an off-dock depot. As far as the ocean carriers know, the containers are available and accruing demurrage.
Once the containers actually become available, the fight begins. Days, a multitude of emails and numerous phone calls later, the free time is either extended or the importer, anxious to get their cargo and stop the demurrage, pays the charges.
The FMC has established an easy to use “Charge Complaint” process to address the assessment of these types of charges which are in violation of OSRA. Charge Complaints can be submitted via email. For more information on the process and to file a claim click here.