The Federal Maritime Commission is preparing to investigate more than 175 shipper complaints lodged against ocean carriers under the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, signed into law earlier this year.
A charge complaint with sufficient information and details will be “promptly” investigated by FMC staff in the Office of Investigations, according to Dec. 1 guidance. Carriers named in the complaint will be contacted by commission staff to respond to the filing and justify the fee being investigated.
Shippers have issued complaints against major ocean carriers over the past few months largely over excess detention and demurrage fees, which are charged when cargo isn’t picked up within a set period of time. Samsung, for example, said in a complaint against Zim that in late 2020 the carrier’s “unreasonable practices” forced the technology conglomerate to pay “excessive and unlawful” detention and demurrage charges.