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Dye to Begin Last Phase of Detention & Demurrage Investigation

March 1, 2019

Contact: John K. Decrosta, (202) 523-5911

Innovation teams consisting of industry experts who are part of the ocean freight transportation system and global supply chains will soon meet in Washington as Commissioner Rebecca Dye commences the final phase of her investigation of the detention, demurrage, and free time practices of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators.

The teams will hold their meetings no later than mid-April. Commissioner Dye emphasized that though the teams have been formed, she continues to welcome comments and contributions from all interested parties.

"We had the enviable problem of an overwhelming response to our request for industry leaders willing to serve on the innovation teams. I am pleased to have the benefit of the experience and knowledge of so many industry leaders and also from those who have already contributed to the demurrage and detention investigation with written submissions, interviews, and emails."

Commissioner Dye also welcomes future comments from those who have experience and expertise in moving ocean freight. Parities interested in contributing to the discussion on detention and demurrage issues should contact Robert Blair, Counsel to Commissioner Dye, via e-mail at RBlair@FMC.Gov. Commenters should be prepared to address the four areas listed in the Fact Finding 28 Final Report which were identified as offering the best opportunities to refine commercially viable demurrage and detention approaches:

• Transparent and standardized language for detention and demurrage practices;
• Clear, simple, and accessible billing and dispute resolution processes for detention and demurrage charges;
• Evidence that would be relevant to resolving demurrage and detention billing disputes; and
• Consistent notice to cargo interests of container availability

"It is an enormous challenge to develop an industry-wide practice for demurrage and detention. Our goal is to make focused, significant changes that will emphasize demurrage and detention incentives and boost freight fluidity. Contributions from industry experts and commitment to continuous supply chain process improvement are necessary to achieve this goal."

The launch of Innovation Teams is the final phase of an investigation that began on March 5, 2018 as Fact Finding 28. In April 2018, Commissioner Dye issued an Information Demand on ocean carriers and marine terminal operators that provided the informational foundation for her investigation. The second phase of her work consisted of field interviews that took place at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Port of Miami, and the Port of New York and New Jersey. As a part of that phase of her investigation she also conducted interviews in Washington, D.C.

A final report to the Commission reporting on the Innovation Teams, Commissioner Dye’s findings, and any possible recommendations she may make, is due no later than September 3, 2019.