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April 25, 2018

U.S. Maritime Commission to examine trucking and delivery arrangements

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has received complaints from U.S. cargo owners claiming that some ocean carriers are unilaterally changing service contract terms by cancelling the port/container yard to final customer destination leg of the cargo shipment. These cancellations are allegedly due to lack of inland truck availability.

The Commission's Bureau of Enforcement has initiated an expedited inquiry into these ocean carrier actions. Letters were sent last Friday, April 20th, to those shipping lines whose service contract actions have been called into question.

In this inquiry, the Commission is seeking information that will assist in understanding the timing, fairness, and lawfulness of the alleged unilateral changes to ocean carriers' obligations for inland trucking services.

Shipping lines receiving letters from the FMC are expected to provide their responses within 30 days.