FMC Commissioner in China for Bilateral Maritime Consultations
Federal Maritime Commissioner Rebecca Dye was in Beijing last week representing the Federal Maritime Commission at the US-China Bilateral Maritime Consultations.
During this meeting, Commissioner Dye led discussions on topics related to competition and efficiency within the shipping industry. She specifically addressed the Fact Finding 28 Investigation into detention and demurrage charges, as well as developments related to ocean carrier alliances.
The FMC voted last month to launch an investigation, focused on the practices of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators related to detention, demurrage, and per diem charges. The case dates back to December 2016 when an organization called the Coalition for Fair Port Practices filed a petition with the FMC that raised issues associated with these special charges, essentially penalties that kick in if cargo owners and trucking companies don’t return containers and chassis within a specified time. Commissioner Dye is the Investigative Officer for Fact Finding 28.
“I had substantive discussions with my Chinese counterparts on the topics I addressed, particularly on the matter of the detention and demurrage investigation,” said Dye. “The commission recently served information demands on carriers and marine terminal operators, including China-based companies. Given the significant cargo flows between China and the United States, I hope that any Chinese shippers with evidence of unreasonable practices related to detention and demurrage will contact the Commission.”
Delegates from the Maritime Administration and the United States Coast Guard addressed issues related to safety, security, disaster response, and research and development.
Representatives of the Ministry of Transportation of the People’s Republic of China provided briefs on shipping, trade, and commercial issues, including improving port infrastructure in the United States. Commissioner Dye has extensive knowledge in this area garnered from her leadership of the Commission’s Supply Chain Innovation Teams Initiative.
“I was pleased to share with the Chinese delegation the findings of my report,” said Dye. “Acting on the recommendations I made can increase the effectiveness and competitiveness of the ocean-based supply chain that links not only the United States and China, but the economies of the world.”