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January 29, 2018

From the desk of Capt. Jeff Monroe, MM, AMPE

International Association of Maritime and Port Executives


The Federal Maritime Commission held hearings on January 16 and 17 in Washington, DC. The petition arose out of experiences of importers, exporters, drayage providers, freight forwarders, customs brokers, and third-party logistics providers—with port congestion that ultimately led to vessel ocean common carrier (VOCC) and marine terminal operator (MTO) assessments of detention, demurrage, and per diem charges. The petition lists events over the preceding five years that led to port congestion including Hurricane Sandy (2012), harsh winter (2013-2014), west coast labor agreement (2014-2015), cargo diversions from west coast to east coast (2015), winter storms (2014-2015), port hiring practices protests—New York/New Jersey (June 2016), and the Hanjin bankruptcy (Fall 2016).

The overall theme of the conversation was that the ocean carriers do not recognize a common problem regarding demurrage. The marine terminal operators are concerned that shippers are not recognizing the difference between carrier demurrage and terminal demurrage. Further, the MTO’s shared with the commission that most often, terminal demurrage is waived. The confusion is further exacerbated in that the MTO’s collect carrier demurrage (occasionally) before the cargo is released, giving the shipper’s the perception that the charge is an MTO charge.

Other topics raised were:

• Bigger ships and less chassis availability were contributing to delays in cargo delivery; • Confusion among all parties as to when the free time starts; • Whether the FMC should standardize industry language to define free time; • If port congestion is contributing to delays (thus higher costs to the shipper) and in order to alleviate port congestion, how is the congestion measured and should there be base line metrics introduced; • Drayage companies may be contributing to the demurrage in over-booking their runs; • Bunching of ships are contributing when late ships arrive while other (on-time) ships are being offloaded;

Members of the Federal Maritime Commission’s meeting of the Coalition for Fair Port Practices, also commented. The FMC also heard from shippers representing Agriculture, Auto, Meat, Paper and Rubber as well as intermediaries, such as logistics firms and freight forwarders. Both represented imports and exports.

The overall conversation centered on the high costs incurred to the shipper from the Marine Terminal Operators due to port congestion, demurrage and detention. What is currently on the table is a petition by the Coalition to the FMC to issue best practices (rather than a rulemaking) to alleviate higher than normal fees, unreasonable fines which makes it more costly to trade (import and export) with the U.S. (Only) some examples included:

• Port delays beyond shipper control • Detention due to government inspection is causing delays resulting in higher demurrage; • The petition alleges that demurrage is being used as a revenue stream by carriers and terminals. • No matter the size of the shipper (i.e. Walmart, Christmas Tree Shops and smaller), they lack the power to dictate which port location to use.


TOTE Maritime stepped up and transported several suitcases of items for the Diocese of Puerto Rico, Anglican Church in America, from parishes in the continental US. Many of the small rural churches in Puerto Rico were destroyed by Hurricane Maria and their worship items lost. Anglican parishes contributed items used in worship which were delivered to the TOTE terminal in Jacksonville on the 24th. The items were delivered to Bishop Garcia in San Juan on the 27th. “The Church and all of us extend our deepest appreciation to TOTE Maritime and Mr. Wyle Norman and his staff for their assistance and support in sending these items to Puerto Rico where they are desperately needed,” said the Most Rev. Brian Marsh, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church. “The men and women of TOTE have made an extraordinary effort to support the needs of the island and they all have our deepest appreciation and prayers.” The material was transported on the Containership PERLA DEL CARIBE, one of TOTE’s new LNG powered vessels. The IAMPE and Capt. Bill Van Voorhis (Portland Propeller Club/NE Maritime Institute) also made contributions to cover the cost of shipping the material to Jacksonville from Maine.


IRPT invites you to join us for the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT) Annual Conference at the Westin Cincinnati from April 24th thru April 26th (with golf and exhibitor move in on Monday, April 23rd), 2018. The IRPT is an IAMPE Educational partner.

The registration fee is $525. Simply access the online registration here:

This year’s conference will include: • Nearly 10 hours of conference content with professional development hours offered. Content to include: o Commodities forecast o Innovative Technology o Education Opportunities o Infrastructure Update o New Business Development o Much, much more!

With nearly 10 hours of content, the IRPT Annual Conference is the premier event each year to explore, learn and build relationships. The conference will be an investment to surely last a lifetime. Rediscover the strength of America’s Inland Rivers. For further information or to register contact: Aimee Andres, AMPE, Executive Director, Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc., One Confluence Way, East Alton, IL 62024, Phone (618) 468-3010,


February 8 - 9: Savannah, GA (MPM) Host GPA


April 9 - 13: Houston, TX (MPE) Host HDR

April 24-26: IRPT Annual Conference Cincinnati, OH Register at

May 14 - 18: New York-New Jersey (MPE) Host PANYNJ

June 6 - 7: Portland, OR (Continuing Education) Host HDR

June 18 - 22: Milwaukee, WI (IMPE) Host MPA-IRPT

Sept 10 - 14: Tulsa (IMPE) Host Port Tulsa

Sept 24 - 28: Connecticut (MPE) Host CTPA

Oct 15 - 16: Tampa (Continuing Education) Host Port Tampa Bay

Oct 17 - 18: Louisiana (Continuing Education) Host POSLA

Nov 5 - 9: Vicksburg (IMPE) Host Vicksburg, MS

Hosts: GPA-Georgia Ports Authority, HDR-HDR Engineering, PANYNJ-Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, MPA-Milwaukee Port Authority, IRPT-Inland Ports and Terminals Association, Port Tulsa-Tulsa Port Authority, CTPA-Connecticut Port Authority, PortTampaBay-Tampa Florida Port Authority, POSLA-Port of South Louisiana, Port Vicksburg-Vicksburg Mississippi Port Authority. MPM-16 Hour Marine Port Manager Program MPE-36 Hour Marine Port Executive Program IMPE-36 Hour Inland Marine Port Executive Program Continuing Education-16 Hour Program -Accredited Marine Port Executive Certification

For additional information: Capt. Michelle Ross

To register for classes, contact John Gleason at

To register for the classes, please email For additional information:

“For A World Connected By Water”


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