06 April 2023


The Loadstar reported this week that several shipping lines have ceased charging cargo owners and truckers on days when terminals are closed. Ocean carriers are currently facing regulatory pressure in the US on D&D charges which have fuelled US shippers’ protest in the last years.

Last month, three shipping lines (Maersk, HMM and MSC) announced that they are axing D&D fees on days when facilities are closed. The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) had contacted the 11 largest ocean carriers calling the United States to confirm shipping lines are adjusting their demurrage and detention practices, in accordance to a December Order involving Evergreen, where the FMC held that the charging of per-diem when a port was closed and equipment could not be returned was unjust and unreasonable.

Following OSRA’s enactment in June 2022, the FMC prepared new rulemaking and guidance on D&D, and the authority duly produced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, aimed at curtailing the elbow room for terminals and carriers to levy such charges. In this document, the FMC proposes to ban charges for days when port facilities are closed. FMC chairman Daniel Maffei said the organisation was not out to ban D&D charges, which he called “very important to keep cargo flowing”, but stressed it wanted to change “what I believe has become a practice of using demurrage and detention as a revenue centre, as opposed to strictly an incentive to pick up cargo and return equipment”. The final set of rules is expected by 15 June 2023.

Finally, the Loadstar notes that regulatory pressures have been intensifying on shipping lines over the last months, between the re-introduction of the Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act in the US Congress and the ongoing evaluation of the CBER by the European Commission.

Source: The Loadstar, FMC