Export bookings will be suspended due to lack of containers, and US regulators have warned shipping companies to stop the move!
More and more US exporters have accused shipping companies of not providing services for transporting goods to Asia in empty containers, which may result in stricter scrutiny for violations of the Shipping Act.
In a joint letter from the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to the World Shipping Council (WSC) on Wednesday, FMC Commissioners Carl Bentzel and Daniel Maffei stated that due to the current surge in container imports from US ports, it is necessary for carriers to maintain a balance in their import and export services. .
Bentzel and Maffei wrote to WSC President and CEO John Butler: "We recognize that the operational changes to ocean carrier dispatch have been implemented, but the US export market should not be excluded."
"The point we want to emphasize is that when dealing with the challenges of imported goods, shipping companies should not ignore their transportation obligations to provide services to US exporters."
Some media commented that this letter was a "warning" to the container shipping company, because the number of complaints is now as high as 4 to 5 times a day.
Bentzel said that due to strong import demand from the United States, there is an urgent need to ship empty containers back to China for reloading, causing shipping companies to charge unreasonable empty container freight to US export shippers, or simply give up service to shippers.
Bentzel said: "This is a floating ratio-complaints about rates are more difficult to assess, and more analysis is needed to confirm whether the rates are unreasonable. But when you have empty containers, the shipping company wants to quickly ship the boxes back to the port. When refusing to provide services, this is clearly a violation of the regulations. These allegations require us to begin to assess the situation more actively, and our law enforcement agency has already begun this process."
In addition, FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye said: “In the ports of Long Beach in Los Angeles and New York/New Jersey, the potential unreasonable practices of carriers and marine terminals in the return of containers, export of containers, and demurrage and demurrage have seriously threatened the United States. Ability to handle trade."
"Due to these unreasonable demurrage and detention fees, lack of communication, exporters have suffered losses due to the refusal of export bookings. We appreciate the commissioner's willingness to take necessary actions to enable the carrier to comply with the provisions of the Shipping Law." The Agricultural Transport Union executed Director Peter Friedmann said.
In fact, exporters in the UK and Europe are also facing increasing restrictions, and many airlines have temporarily suspended bookings. For example, Hapag-Lloyd announced that it will suspend bookings for 40-foot containers in Hamburg until mid-January.
Containers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are still facing extremely tense conditions. Hapag-Lloyd supports all confirmed export bookings, but may cancel bookings in individual cases.
In addition, some British shippers stated that they cancelled export bookings due to lack of containers. A freight forwarder said he was going to load in London this week, but was told to pick up empty containers from Liverpool, about 450 miles round trip.
Another British shipper described the current container situation as "luck by chance".
"You managed to get the carrier's booking confirmation electronically, but that's only half of the work; then, you have to go back online day after day to get an empty container, it's like chance. "He said.