The Auto Care Association submitted comments yesterday urging the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to begin a formal rulemaking concerning a petition from the Coalition for Fair Port Practices. The letter requests the FMC to ensure that demurrage and detention practices are fair and responsible when moving cargo through the nation’s ports.
“Auto Care Association members were greatly affected by recent repeated incidents of disruption in operations and severe congestion at U.S. ports,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Many firms with tightly integrated global supply chains were interrupted as a result of port delays. We are requesting in the petition that demurrage and detention practices be just and reasonable.”
The comments to the FMC pointed out that regardless of the reasons behind port delays, demurrage and detention penalties are imposed even though circumstances arise beyond a company’s control. These additional costs associated with port delays ultimately lead to higher costs downstream to the consumer.
The Auto Care Association and a coalition representing retailers, manufacturers, truckers, transportation intermediaries and other business groups filed the petition in December 2016, asking the FMC to set new policy preventing terminal operators and ocean carriers from charging unfair fees when uncontrollable incidents such as storms and strikes keep cargo from being picked up from ports on time.