The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is investigating Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines regarding charges related to container returns.
According to FMC, Wan Hai invoiced a customer at least 21 times in the spring of 2021 for detention charges when the carrier “either offered no return locations, the designated terminal was not accepting the containers’ chassis, or appointments were unavailable for the subject containers.” The customer provided Wan Hai with screenshots verifying these restrictions and requested a waiver.
However, Wan Hai denied the request to waive the charges, because it does “not control the appointment system,” says the FMC statement.
Now, the carrier has been ordered to file an answer with the FMC within 25 days. The proceeding will determine if civil penalties should be assessed and in what amount, as well as whether a cease-and-desist order should be issued.
Empty containers sitting on chassis across the USA is said to be one of the reasons for the pile-up of full containers in the ports as those chassis are then unable to pick up full import containers.
In fact, the Port of Los Angeles plans to begin charging a fee to ocean carriers that allow empty containers to linger on the Port’s marine terminals for nine days or longer.
The fee, subject to approval by the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, would take effect on Jan. 30, 2022.
Under the policy, ocean carriers will be charged $100 for an empty container dwelling for nine days, increasing in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal. If approved by the Harbor Commission, implementation of the fee will be at the discretion of the Executive Director.
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