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Not Filing of Rates Leads to FMC Complaint

One of the three complaints received by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) received in April 2022 is from Aeneas Exporting LLC, a U.S.-based car exporter, that complained that it was charged ocean freight rates different from what was originally quoted and not filed with the FMC. In a complaint filed on April 8, 2022, Aeneas accused Honeybee International Inc. and its affiliate All America Shipping of violating the U.S. Shipping Act by raising ocean freight rates after receipt of cargo, charging fees that were not quoted. This is fraud, Aeneas insists. Aeneas also alleged it was coerced to pay storage fees because Honeybee and All America could not release its cargo otherwise. Aeneas told the FMC it was forced to pay over $10,000 in additional shipping and storage costs. In its Answer, Honeybee and All America asked the FMC to dismiss the complaint, denying most of the allegations. Honeybee said Aeneas' alleged injury was the result of its own actions. An Initial Decision due April 10, 2023, and the Final Decision on the complaint due October 24, 2023.

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), filed a formal complaint against Gateway Terminals, LLC,, Charleston Stevedoring Company, LLC, Ports America Florida, Inc., Ceres Marine Terminals, Inc., and SSA Atlantic, LLC, on April 1, 2022. ILA alleged that Gateway, et al., violated the U.S. Shipping Act by entering into an agreement at the ports of Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina that resulted in anti-competitive and trade restrictive practices through a de-facto merger of marine terminal operators. As a result, the ILA alleges the agreement is unlawful and should be rejected by the FMC. An Initial Decision due April 12, 2023, while the Final Decision on the complaint is due October 26, 2023.

International Express Trucking, Inc. (IET), a U.S.-based trucking company, filed a formal complaint against ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., on April 13, 2022. IET alleged that ZIM violated the U.S. Shipping Act by assessing demurrage and/or detention charges even when containers could not be returned due to lack of space, congestion, and weather conditions. As a result, IET alleges it was charged $134,655 in unlawful detention costs. An Initial Decision due April 13, 2023, while the Final Decision on the complaint is due October 27, 2023.

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