FMC Says Port Congestion Surcharges to be Postponed Until 2015
The Federal Maritime Commission announced recently that the 15 ocean carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement have individually committed to forego imposition of any port congestion surcharges until 2015. Carriers had previously announced plans to impose charges of up to $1,000 per 40-foot container for imports and exports of cargo moving via West Coast ports affected by labor-related terminal delays, prompting the FMC to begin gathering information on surcharge rules published in carrier tariffs and asking the carriers for information on the timing and legal sufficiency of their charges. FMC Chairman Mario Cordero said that during the temporary suspension of these surcharges agency staff “will further address with the carriers our concerns for the lawfulness, fairness, and adequacy of notice of implementation” and will continue to monitor port congestion and related surcharges. The FMC invites shippers and other affected parties to submit any updates on these issues to its Bureau of Trade Analysis.