Cordero Addresses New England Regional Trade Group
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero today delivered a speech in Newport, Rhode Island to the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT) in which he underscored the Commission’s concern for issues that impact shippers’ supply chains, but said the FMC cannot act with the benefit of facts and evidence of harm.
“The FMC wants to hear from its constituents regarding what issues they are facing in terms of operating their supply chains,” said Cordero. “It is particularly important to know what sensitivities shippers face in moving cargo internationally and when there is cause, we are willing to take action.”
Cordero noted in his remarks that he often hears anecdotal evidence of problems associated with international oceanborne cargo movements, but said such informal complaints do not automatically lead to a circumstance where the Commission can formally delve into the root of the allegations.
“Last year, we heard loudly and clearly from multiple parties about detention and demurrage fees being charged as a result of port congestion that appeared to be no fault of the shippers,” noted Cordero. “These complaints caught our attention, but they fell short of enabling us to initiate the process to formally examine the practices of carriers and terminal operators. To take that step, the FMC needed to receive a complaint or a petition and we made that known as plainly as possible to all concerned parties. One year later, we still have not received a filing from any shipper or association. The Commission takes its mission objective seriously, to protect the American shipper from alleged unreasonable practices.”