Shipper group pressures Congress to clamp down on ocean carriers

A request by the nation’s oldest industrial shipper group to expand federal oversight of commercial contracts between ocean carriers and their customers was swiftly rejected by the organization representing most of the world’s ocean carriers.

Frustrated by an ongoing container shortage, service delays and added shipping costs, the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) is calling on Congress to make changes to U.S. shipping laws, including shifting the burden of proof onto carriers to...

US regulator probing China’s role in container shortage

A top maritime official has started an informal investigation into whether China is using its market power to monopolize containers and other equipment crucial to international supply chains to pump up rates paid by American exporters.

Carl Bentzel, a U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner (FMC), told attendees at a virtual business meeting hosted by the Intermodal Association of North America that he is looking into the availability of containers, intermodal chassis and railroad equipment, and...

Federal Maritime Commission further deregulates service contracts

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will begin this year what it calls a “new era of flexibility” for service contract filing for container lines and their U.S. importer and exporter customers.

An amended rule that takes effect on June 2 will allow ocean carriers to file original service contracts with the agency up to 30 days after they go into effect. Current regulations require that they be filed with the FMC before an ocean carrier is allowed to receive and move cargo under the terms of...

Regulator to order container detention reports from ocean carriers

A federal maritime regulator is ordering the world’s largest containership companies to provide her agency with container detention and demurrage information to ensure they’re meeting their legal obligations.

The orders, announced Wednesday by Commissioner Rebecca Dye of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), are being issued under Dye’s authority as the fact-finding officer for the FMC’s Fact Finding 29, “International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement.”

Ocean carriers operating in an...

CBP makes it easier for shippers to obtain manifest data confidentiality

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says its new automated tool allows importers and exporters to apply and receive approval for their vessel manifest confidentiality requests from the agency within 24 hours.

Before CBP deployed the new online application, shippers had to submit their confidentiality requests to keep their names and addresses off the public manifest record to the agency by mail, fax or email, which often required the agency 60 to 90 days to process.

In addition, CBP said the...

National Shipper Advisory Committee for FMC gets Senate push

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill that would allow the formation of a committee of American shippers to advise the Federal Maritime Commission on policies related to competitiveness, reliability, integrity and fairness in ocean shipping.

FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye proposed the FMC National Shipper Advisory Committee two years ago when the agency was analyzing persistent ocean shipping bottlenecks due to systemic port congestion throughout the U.S.

Under the 2019 FMC...

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