After eight months of vigorous investigation US shipping regulatory body “the Federal Maritime Commision (FMC)” has decided to introduce revised rules for container detention and demurrage practices across the country.

Investigation reports main conclusion was that charges for detention and demurrage are justified to the extent that they “incentivize cargo to move expeditiously”  through US ports. Nonetheless, the report stated that standardization is needed when talking – in terms of when and how much fees are applied- across the industry.

Another central finding was that shippers would greatly benefit from better transparency in container operations at the harbors. A lot of demurrage and detention costs could be avoided through better communication between the concerned parties.

On basis of the report, FMC will launch an innovation team to develop four key elements found by the investigation: to advise “transparent, standardized language for demurrage and detention practices”;  to develop “clear, simplified and accessible demurrage and detention billing practices and dispute resolution process”; to issue “explicit guidance regarding the types of evidence relevant to resolving demurrage and detention disputes”; and getting carriers and terminals to deliver “consistent notice to cargo interests of container availability”.

Source: The Federal Maritime Commision (FMC), The Loadstar