May 2020

FMC Issues Long-Awaited Decision on Demurrage and Detention (From NCBFAA)

On April 28, 2020, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC or Commission) issued its long-awaited interpretive rules on the reasonableness of carrier and marine terminal operator (MTO) policies and practices when assessing demurrage and detention… 

Citing examples of situations where Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC) and shippers were assessed these charges even though they were not responsible for the delays underlying the charges, the petition requested that the FMC initiate a rulemaking proceeding for the purpose of clarifying what constitutes just and reasonable practices with respect to the assessment of demurrage and detention by the carriers and MTOs. And, to the extent that the assessment is deemed to be unreasonable, that would contravene the provisions of former section 10(d)(1) of the Shipping Act, now 46 USC 41102(c), and subject the carrier or MTO to pay reparations and attorneys’ fees…For more info, please contact us or go to

How canceled sailings will impact US ports – and when (From Freightwaves, formerly American Shipper)

Container lines have “blanked” (canceled) an unprecedented number of sailings to bring capacity in line with coronavirus-stricken cargo demand. Blank-sailings data is a key leading indicator for U.S. ports, cargo shippers, truckers and railways. A container ship that doesn’t depart from Asia equates to a container ship that doesn’t arrive on the U.S. West Coast two to three weeks later, or on the East Coast four to five weeks later.

Taken together, this data offers the clearest publicly available picture yet of how the coronavirus is affecting the container-shipping network that supplies America. According to eeSea data, 51 of 243 scheduled North American arrivals from Asia have been cancelled this month; 44 of 236 [in June]; and 23 of 240 in July… Measured in twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU), not number of sailings, headhaul capacity to North America from Asia is down 21% this month compared to the original (pro forma) schedules, 19% next month [June] and 7% in July. For more info, please go to

Trade Policy Impacts of COVID-19 Could Include Heavier Burdens on Businesses, Report Says (From Sandler Travis)

The United States’ dependence on critical manufacturing and global value chains that rely on production based in China could prompt Congress to consider actions that lead to greater burdens on U.S. companies. A recent report from the Congressional Research Service states that while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting these challenges with respect to medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, they could also occur with respect to other industries in the future. For more info, please go to

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