Chairman Cordero addresses the Port of Long Beach Pulse of the Ports – Peak Season Forecast Program - Federal Maritime Commission
US Flag iconThis site is an official U.S. Government Website.

Chairman Cordero addresses the Port of Long Beach Pulse of the Ports – Peak Season Forecast Program

April 29, 2015

Today, Chairman Cordero appeared at the Port of Long Beach’s annual Pulse of the Ports – Peak Season Forecast Program, along with six industry panelists. The Chairman’s topic was “Marine Terminal Operators” (MTOs).

The Chairman’s remarks first focused on MTOs’ responsibilities under the Shipping Act of 1984 and the Commission’s regulations. He pointed out that the term “marine terminal operator” includes port authorities, such as the Port of Long Beach as well as MTOs that lease and provide the terminal services at facilities leased from a port. The Chairman also identified the types of MTO agreements that are required to be filed with the Commission and explained the Commission’s review process under section 6(g) of the Shipping Act.

The Chairman referenced the Commission’s vote earlier this month to release a staff report on rules, rates, and practices regarding the application of demurrage and detention charges and free-time at certain United States ports. He noted the report assesses a sample of demurrage and detention rules and practices at each marine terminal in the nation’s largest container ports and was compiled based upon feedback received last fall at the Commission’s congestion forums hosted by each of the Commissioners at four major gateway ports and from subsequent exchanges with stakeholders.

The Chairman reported that importers, exporters, drayage trucking companies and others expressed concerns about demurrage and detention charges under circumstances where they were charged the fees notwithstanding they were not permitted to pick up a container or return an empty before free time expired. The Chairman informed the attendees of the actions that could be taken by the Commission where the facts and circumstances supported Commission action.

The Chairman highlighted a number of important MTO agreements that have been filed with the Commission that provide authority intended to address port congestion and environmental concerns at the ports covered. The agreements addressed were the: Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Infrastructure and Environmental Programs Cooperative Working Agreement; Pacific Ports Operational Improvements Agreement; Port of Seattle/Port of Tacoma Puget Sound Air Quality Discussion Agreement; and, Port Of NY/NJ Sustainable Services Agreement.