The October 7 notice of inquiry begins a 30-day process in which interested parties can submit comments to the FMC. At issue is whether the invitation can be extended to third parties outside of the contract, such as truckers, forwarders and other logistics providers.
In May, the FMC urged carriers to bill the correct party when BCOs failed to promptly retrieve and return containers, but did not prescribe specific rules to follow.
Since then, the Agricultural Transportation Coalition (AgTC) and the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association complained that nothing has changed.
AgTC argues that carriers should impose detention and demurrage penalties only on the importer or exporter. Forwarders argue that carriers are defining the term too broadly and billing their members incorrectly. Truckers complain they are being charged instead of BCOs.