Contact: Ed Greenberg
@ (202) 342-5200 For Immediate Release
Geoffrey Powell @ (410)
@ (202) 466-02222
Federal Mediation in Congestion Crises
Washington, DC: In a letter to several federal government officials, the National
Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA)
President Geoffrey Powell has urged them to use their good offices to
“appoint a mediator for the purpose of helping to resolve the outstanding
issues that separate labor and the ocean carriers on the West Coast.”
your assistance, the unsettled ocean shipping situation together with its
costly surcharges being imposed on US importers will be extraordinarily
disruptive and result in significant economic damage to large and small
companies alike,” he noted.
issue being confronted involves virtually all of the ocean carriers servicing
the West Coast imposing “congestion surcharges” on cargo headed to these
ports. “With one exception, each of these ocean carriers are foreign owned
and in each case the surcharge, which has been uniformly established by those
carriers at the level of $1,000 per 40-foot container (with some adjustments
for differing size containers) would be imposed on and collected from US
importers and NVOCCs,” President Powell wrote.
his letter, President Powell cites inadequate notification in apparent
violation of the US Shipping Act, possible collusive behavior in light of
surcharge amount similarities, uncertainty created by the on again and off
again imposition of the charges, and the possibility that much of the
congestion is attributable to the carriers’ own conduct and inefficiencies.
our part, the NCBFAA has brought these specific issues to the attention of
the Federal Maritime Commission and we hope to work with that agency to
address those issues that are within its jurisdiction,” he said.
in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA represents more than 970 member companies with
110,000 employees in international trade - the nation's leading freight
forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs),
NVOCCs and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and
exporters. Established in 1897 in New York, NCBFAA is the effective national
voice of the industry. Through its various committees, counsel and
representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and
regulatory issues that affect its members. It keeps them informed of these
and other related issues through its weekly Monday Morning eBriefing, and various meetings and conferences
throughout the year.
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Our regulatory experts are monitoring the situation and keeping a
close eye on labor negotiations, which began on May 12, 2014. In the meantime
we are checking shipment status on a daily/hourly basis to see where our
client’s cargo stands in movement towards its final destination. While we
can’t control the situation we can keep you informed.
contained in this newsletter has been compiled from various industry
newsletters and other public sources. While we use reasonable efforts to
furnish accurate and up-to-date information Page & Jones, Inc. is not
liable or responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any information