New Audit Program for Ocean Carriers

The Federal Maritime Commission has launched a new audit program and dedicated audit team to assess carrier compliance with the FMC’s rule on detention and demurrage.

Demurrage is charged for cargo containers exceeding allotted free time at a terminal, while detention fees are assessed for use of carrier-provided containers beyond the allotted free time. In May 2020 the FMC issued a rule setting forth a non-exclusive list of considerations it will use in assessing whether a detention or demurrage practice is unjust or unreasonable.

The FMC’s new audit program will analyze the top nine carriers by market share for compliance with this rule. The FMC states that it will work with companies to address their application of the rule and clarify any questions or ambiguities. Information supplied by carriers may be used to establish industry best practices. However, FMC Chairman Dan Maffei said if the audits uncover prohibited activities the FMC “will take appropriate action.”

Other focus areas of the audit process may include company practices related to billing, appeals procedures, penalties assessed by lines, and any other restrictive practices. Maffei said the information gathered by the audit process could lead to changes in FMC regulations and industry guidance.

OTI License Applicants

The FMC has given notice that the following have filed applications (1) for ocean transportation intermediary licenses as non-vessel-operating common carriers and/or ocean freight forwarders or (2) to amend an existing OTI license or the qualifying individual for a licensee.

- Agility Project Logistics Inc., Houston, TX (additional QI)

- America Logistics Solution Inc., Houston, TX (new NVO and OFF license)

- Band of Brothers LLC dba Band of Brothers LLC, Huntington Beach, CA (new OFF license)

- Bluex Trade Inc., Diamond Bar, CA (new OFF license)

- C.V. Int’l Services LLC dba C.V. Int’l Ocean Services, Miami, FL (new NVO and OFF license)

- Cang Lu Logistics LLC, McAllen, TX (new OFF license)

- Grupo Genesis Corporation, Doral, FL (new NVO and OFF license)

- Ingram Logistics Services LLC, Nashville, TN (additional QI)

- Kintech Supply Chain Management (USA) Company Limited, Houston, TX (new NVO and OFF license)

- Leela Logistics Group Inc., Chalfont, PA (new NVO and OFF license)

- Longyuan Forwarding Inc. dba American New Logistics Service, Ontario, CA (new NVO license)

- Lynden Air Freight Inc. dba Lynden International, Seattle, WA (name change to Lynden Logistics Inc.)

- Maersk Logistics & Services International A/S dba Damco International, Copenhagen, Denmark (new NVO license)

- MEBS Global Reach LC, Chantilly, VA (adding NVO services)

- NJJR Express LLC, Passaic, NJ (new OFF license)

- Samsung SDS Global SCL America Inc., Ridgefield Park, NJ (name change to Samsung SDS America Inc.)

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