Over $1 million in disputed ocean shipping charges have now been waived or refunded by the Federal Maritime Commission as the agency ramps up enforcement of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022.
The FMC said last Wednesday that about $1.05 million has been returned to customers under the charge complaint process established upon the enactment of OSRA last summer. The agency has received 287 complaints in the 10 months since the law was signed, according to FMC Managing Director Lucille Marvin.
"The charge complaint process continues to drive formal settlements and waivers of mainly detention and demurrage billings," Marvin said during a commission meeting on May 3.
More recently, Bed Bath & Beyond took advantage of the process to file a complaint against ocean carrier Orient Overseas Container Line. The bankrupt retailer accused OOCL of price-gouging and unreasonable detention and demurrage charges, saying it faced nearly $31.7 million in excess freight costs.
The FMC is using an interim procedure to solve charge complaints which was introduced in December. A more permanent process will be decided through a formal rulemaking process. Commission staff will begin to work on a request for public comment for later this year.