Without the right data, Congress’ attempt to check ocean shipping costs is mostly toothless

In the News4 Minute Read

Congress’ attempt to intervene with the on-going dispute over demurrage and detention fees gives shippers too few tools to hold carriers and terminal operators accountable for unjust fees.

cargo containers loaded on a train. Congress’ attempt to intervene with the on-going dispute over demurrage and detention fees gives shippers too few tools to hold carriers and terminal operators accountable for unjust fees.

Potential intervention by the U.S. federal government into the mounting penalties being levied against freight importers, shippers and forwarders over container delays and backlogs at West Coast ports has taken a major step closer to fruition.

A bi-partisan duo in the Senate, Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican John Thune of South Dakota, introduced the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) into Congress’ upper chamber in February. That’s after the U.S. House cleared the bill in December with broad bi-partisan support, 364-60.

Chiefly, the legislation seeks to rebalance a market which some perceive to work in the maritime shipping lines’ favor — a dynamic that shippers, freight forwarders, importers, and exporters have said has led to abuses over container rates and fees,and has been a critical underlying current to port gridlock and supply chain disruptions.

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written on March 31, 2022

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