Maher Terminals Brought to FMC Over Hanjin Cargo
Two members of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) have filed complaints with the Federal Maritime Commission alleging they were illegally charged thousands of dollar by Maher Terminals, in the Port of New York and New Jersey, for containers stuck in the port which were unable to be loaded onto Hanjin vessels.
This is latest consequence of the Hanjin bankruptcy which has seen ports refusing to allow the carrier’s vessels to approach terminals not to load or unload cargo.
The fees charged, known as demurrage, was for storage of the container at the terminals longer than a specified time. Reports indicate that the containers were on terminal for only a couple of days before they were removed.
The NCBFAA position is that the charges violate the Shipping Act and that the terminal should direct its complaint to Hanjin and not to cargo owners.
Hanjin filed for bankruptcy on August 31 after creditors refused to approve a plan to manage the company’s $5 billion in debt.
It is estimated that $14 billion of cargo is stranded at sea as a result of Hanjin being unable to dock and offload its cargo at world ports. Global electronics manufacturer Samsung is said to have $38 million of goods stuck on Hanjin’s ships.
The Federal Maritime Commission has established a protocol for communicating requests for assistance to the agency concerning developments related to the status of Hanjin Shipping.
“The commission continues to monitor the operational and competitive impacts of this disruption and is particularly interested in learning of any conduct by any regulated entity that may violate the Shipping Act,” the FMC said in a statement. “Members of the shipping public are encouraged to share with the agency any specific allegations of illegal behavior.”