The coalition led by the Harbor Trucking Association is looking at two routes to get relief from growing demurrage and detention charges on the key East and West Coast ports.
In a press conference Monday led by HTA CEO Weston LaBar, two key approaches were spelled out. One is a letter sent by the coalition to the Federal Maritime Commission asking the FMC to find a way to impose relief, possibly through taking steps permitted under the FMC’s “Interpretive Rule” approved earlier this year, including a suspension of demurrage and detention charges.
“We would further ask that the commission review and disallow carriers from filing or collecting any surcharges for congestion, trucking or equipment for moving in and through these ports until they have made a constructive action to remedy the problems,” the letter adds.
The other route the coalition seeks is to persuade companies beyond Maersk to step forward and indicate willingness to discuss steps to rein in the demurrage and detention charges. Those charges, at their root, are being caused by heavy traffic into the port and a big imbalance between containers coming and those going out.
Several times during the call, LaBar praised the willingness of Maersk to meet with representatives to the HTA, following a general call to action recently released by HTA and the California Trucking Association. But beyond that, LaBar said, “the ocean carriers have not been coming to the table or when they do, they give us little in the form of constructive feedback.”
BDP will continue to monitor the situation and keep customers informed of any updates. Please feel free to reach out to your local customer representative with any questions or concerns.