Port of Long Beach
Photo courtesy of the Port of Long Beach

ISRI seeks audience with Federal Maritime Commission

Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye has issued information demand orders to ocean carriers and marine terminal operators to determine if legal obligations related to detention and demurrage practices are being met.

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February 23, 2021

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, says it has requested the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) address its investigation into ocean carriers’ detention and demurrage practices, as well as the shortage of ocean shipping containers, with its members. The request follows FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye’s plans announced Feb. 17 to issue demand orders to ocean carriers and terminal operators to determine whether their legal obligations related to detention and demurrage practices are being met.

The orders will be issued under the authority Dye has as the Fact Finding Officer for Fact Finding 29, “International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement.” Targets of the orders will be ocean carriers operating in an alliance and calling on the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach or the Port of New York & New Jersey. Marine terminal operators at those ports also will be subject to information demands, according to the FMC.

ISRI appreciates the work of Commissioner Dye in her initial fact-finding investigation into detention and demurrage practices,” says ISRI Vice President of Advocacy Adina Renee Adler. “We look forward to providing her with more information through comments submitted by ISRI members detailing their experiences with container shortages.” 

The FMC is collecting information for possible enforcement actions against these parties to determine whether they have violated the FMC’s “Interpretive Rule on Detention and Demurrage” and provisions of the Federal Shipping Act of 1984 that prohibit ocean carriers from providing “just and reasonable” practices related to receiving, handling, storing or delivering property.