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Chairman Lidinsky Urges Voluntary Inclusion of CADRS Dispute Resolution

March 11, 2011

NR 11-03

Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)

Speaking to the 11th Annual Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference (TPM) in Long Beach, California, Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. urged both carriers and shippers in attendance to include in their new service contracts a clause providing that the Commission’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) would assist in resolving their disputes.

"I urge both parties in the service contracts to avail themselves of the confidential, cost-free, and experienced staff of CADRS for dispute resolution, mediation, or arbitration," said Chairman Lidinsky. Speaking to a session of TPM delegates entitled "One on One with FMC Chairman Lidinsky," he pointed out that many of the serious complaints by shippers in 2009 and 2010 involved alleged service contract violations.

Chairman Lidinsky announced that the Commission would follow up on its recent Fact Finding into Vessel Capacity and Equipment Availability Issues by initiating a project to enhance service contracting practices for small and medium sized shippers. Chairman Lidinsky further noted that the CADRS office is projected to handle 641 cases this fiscal year, the majority dealing with cargo issues.

Finally, during the Long Beach meeting, Chairman Lidinsky and staff met with several officers of Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) who indicated their great satisfaction with the Commission’s recently issued final rule, which takes effect on April 18, 2011, and exempts licensed NVOCCs from publishing their rates in tariffs if they fulfill certain conditions. Several representatives of these supply chain businesses stated that they have already hired or have plans to hire additional staff, creating new jobs in the maritime sector.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.