Maersk and HMM have made recent changes to how they will assess demurrage and detention fees on U.S. shipments (both imports and exports).

This comes after the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is expected to issue new rules, (by June 15th) surrounding the assessment of detention and demurrage. Something that was authorized by the passing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA-22).

Typically, container lines would charge their customers those fees even on days when a terminal or container storage facility is closed, like a weekend. For demurrage fees, those are typically collected from importers or importers’ logistics partners, before then passing those fees through to terminals or other storage locations, the JOC notes.

Changes Maersk is Making

So, what changes will Maersk be making?

To get ahead of the new FMC rules that are looming, Maersk will stop assessing excess free time fees, when customers are not able to pick up or return containers due to those locations being closed – effective April 1st.

Furthermore, this includes billing consignees and not drayage providers for detention charges, a spokesperson for Maersk told the JOC.

Additionally, in a March 3rd customer advisory memo, Maersk provided more details …

“Maersk will assess import demurrage, import detention, and export detention charges with respect to U.S. shipments only on days when the pickup or return location for equipment is open for the pickup or return of equipment and cargo.”

Maersk also stated  that “for the purposes of calculating free time, we will consider Monday through Saturday as working days provided the pickup or return location is open.”

HMM Making Changes as Well

For HMM, they plan to immediately halt the collection of demurrage fees on containers when a marine terminal in the U.S. is closed and inaccessible to consignees. This includes weekends, or holidays, even when demurrage free time has been exceeded.

HMM mentioned that these changes were largely made in regards to the new FMC rulemaking process that is expected soon.

Looking Ahead

It will be interesting to see if other container lines follow suit, as well as what the new FMC rules regarding detention and demurrage will entail.

Should you have any questions regarding this and how it could impact your shipments, please reach out to our team today.

Additionally, we have our weekly market updates that can provide you with relevant freight news, updates, developments across the industry, and more.



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