Federal Maritime Commission officials propose reforms to three practices of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Port of New York and New Jersey. Commissioner Rebecca Dye seeks to change practices which “reduce cargo fluidity and contribute to supply chain bottlenecks and unreasonable demurrage and detention charges”, and invites reactions or questions regarding these proposals, which may be submitted to Commissioner Dye through John Moran at, before September 15, 2023. Commissioner Dye proposes:

Container Return Reform: 1) Containers be returned to the terminal of original pickup, facilitating the pickup of a new load. 2) Truckers must be given the option to return empty containers to another location to facilitate double move (In rare cases, where it is not possible for a trucker to return a container to the terminal of original pickup, notice to truckers of the new container receiving terminal must occur no later than 12PM the previous day. Any requirement for an appointment at a new receiving terminal must be waived.)

Early Return Date Proposal: The Early Return Date applicable for the shipment will be the one in effect at the time the empty container has been picked up from the terminal, with reform of detention and demurrage charges.

Notice Of Container Availability For Pickup: Ocean carriers and marine terminals must coordinate information to provide shippers with an electronic notice that a container is available for pickup; free time does not start until a container is accessible and available for pickup; Free time and clocks stop if a container becomes non accessible and unavailable for pickup; availability includes the physical availability of the container to be picked up within a reasonable time period by the shipper or trucker.

ST&R’s team of former FMC and DOJ litigation personnel, freight forwarders, and former administration and congressional staffers can help shippers understand, comply with, and take advantage of recent shipping reform measures. For more information, please contact Jason Kenner (at (212) 549-0137 or via email), Andy Margolis (at (305) 894-1021 or via email), or Ned Steiner (at (202) 730-4970 or via email.)

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Jason M. Kenner
Member, Litigation Practice Leader
Andrew Margolis
Of Counsel
Edward Steiner
Senior Director, International Trade & Government Relations

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