FMC Investigates MSC Over D&D Overcharge Claims

The FMC investigates MSC over alleged overcharges exceeding $2m in demurrage and detention fees, following claims of unfair shipping practices during the pandemic.

FMC Investigates MSC Over D&D Overcharge Claims
Image Source: Lucas Van Oort/Unsplash

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is investigating claims that the shipping company MSC overcharged customers by more than $2 million for demurrage and detention (D&D) charges. After a 2021 FMC audit of MSC’s D&D charges, key findings included:

  • 925 disputed charges, with refunds totaling approximately $1.2 million made by MSC to customers.
  • In 2021, 1,704 NOR overcharges went undisputed, with MSC retaining around $857,944 in additional revenue without any corrective action taken.

MSC was alleged to be misapplying operating reefer rates to non-operating reefers (NORs) as a “normal and customary” practice, contrary to what the carrier communicated through its US agent. This investigation follows the FMC’s increased scrutiny of carriers it believes exploited shippers during the pandemic, seeking to address and rectify "unfair practices" in the industry.

For comparison, Hamburg Süd was ordered to pay $9.8 million to OJ Commerce for refusing contracted cargo space, while Bed, Bath & Beyond is pursuing a $38 million claim against OOCL.

Source: The Loadstar

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