More than 70 trade associations sent the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership a letter asking for clarification regarding rail storage fees charged as part of international ocean shipping: “Continuing to allow railroads to invoice importers and their agents directly without oversight undermines the purpose and intent of the Shipping Act.”
The May 2nd letter notes that there is a gap in authority between the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to regulate these charges: “The lack of clear statutory authority for the FMC to address unreasonable rail storage charges assessed under ocean carrier through bills of lading is a gap that must be clarified.”
The letter adds: “… the railroads’ storage charges under through bills of lading should more appropriately be invoiced through the ocean carriers. Rail storage charges assessed against containers moving in International commerce, an as-yet unaddressed abuse of demurrage charges, should clearly and formally fall within FMC authority through an act of Congress.”
Read more in an article from the American Journal of Transportation.