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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

Coalition seeks interventions, cargo delays in Los Angeles, and the lobster biz hopes for stability

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

November 23, 2020

Coalition on demurrage/detention charges seeks intervention from Federal Maritime Commission

(American Shipper) The coalition led by the Harbor Trucking Association is looking at two routes to get relief from growing demurrage and detention charges on the key East and West Coast ports.

In a press conference Monday led by HTA CEO Weston LaBar, two key approaches were spelled out. One is a letter sent by the coalition to the Federal Maritime Commission asking the FMC to find a way to impose relief, possibly through taking steps permitted under the FMC’sInterpretive Rule” approved earlier this year, including a suspension of demurrage and detention charges.

“We would further ask that the commission review and disallow carriers from filing or collecting any surcharges for congestion, trucking or equipment for moving in and through these ports until they have made a constructive action to remedy the problems,” the letter adds.

The other route the coalition seeks is to persuade companies beyond Maersk to step forward and indicate willingness to discuss steps to rein in the demurrage and detention charges. Those charges, at their root, are being caused by heavy traffic into the port and a big imbalance between containers coming and those going out.

U.S. import boom is delaying cargo at nation's busiest port

(Reuters) - Record cargo imports are causing delays that are rippling from the nation’s busiest U.S. port complex to other parts of the transportation network, port officials and other executives said.

Total volume at the Port of Los Angeles hit 980,729 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) in October, up more than 27% versus the year earlier. Loaded imports, which accounted for more than half of shipments, jumped 29% - marking the third consecutive month of robust growth.

The typical holiday shipping peak is exaggerated this year because retailers and manufacturers are racing to restock depleted warehouses and the coronavirus pandemic is creating unplanned-for demand for items from patio furniture to protective gear for healthcare workers.

Lobster biz hopes for stability after tumultuous Trump era

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — President Donald Trump positioned himself as a friend of New England’s lobstermen, but members of the industry said they are looking forward to something that has been lacking in the crustacean business: stability.

Trump’s trade war with China led to a rocky few years for the industry, which is based mostly in Maine. Trump, who campaigned hard in Maine and won an electoral vote in the state, touted economic aid and environmental reforms intended to benefit the business. The Republican Party even had Maine lobsterman Jason Joyce speak at its national convention.

What the industry really needs is assurance that it will be able to sell lobsters to other countries without punitive tariffs, said Stephanie Nadeau, owner of The Lobster Company, an Arundel, Maine, dealer. She and others said they are hopeful that assurance will arrive under Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

“You can’t plan. You can’t live in chaos,” she said. “The trade war, was it going to last a week, was it going to last a month, was it going to last four years? How do you operate around that?”

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