The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has reported on the progress of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) and its impact on the industry.
The FMC has received over 200 charge complaints since the OSRA was enacted in June 2022, with over 70 of those complaints meeting the FMC’s threshold for referral to investigators.
Commission staff reported that the charge complaint process is proving successful in promoting informal settlements and waivers of demurrage and detention billings, resulting in over $700,000 in charges being refunded by carriers since June.
Last summer, the FMC had paid a visit to the Port of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) defending the port’s stricter standpoint against ocean carriers and prompting carriers to pay for excess of empty containers.
During the meeting, it was also reported that container volumes and freight rates on inbound trades have returned to pre-pandemic levels, while the cost to ship exports remains slightly elevated.
The market share of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has increased substantially in the US-Asia and US-Europe trades over the past two years, with MSC and Maersk having substantial market shares and offering additional services outside their alliance.
In response to the comments received on the Unreasonable Refusal to Deal or Negotiate with Respect to Vessel Space Accommodations proposed rule issued last September, the FMC announced that it will issue a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), in a bid to legislate the issues raised.
The SNPRM will provide an opportunity for additional public comments to be received.
The FMC also mentioned that progress is being made on other rulemakings ordered in the statute and that they have completed a review of market conditions and found that “circumstances at this time do not warrant invoking Temporary Emergency Authority established under OSRA to require information sharing among supply chain participants.”
The added protections against retaliation were created by Section 5 of OSRA and became effective immediately upon the law’s enactment.