Volume 23, Number 7
July 2, 2019
Oakland, California
SIGNALS™ provides detailed information on the regulations and activities of the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and related developments in the ocean freight industry. For past issues, please consult our index.
Signals™ Headlines - July 2, 2019

Erin Wirth Designated FMC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge

The Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Michael A. Khouri announced that the Honorable Erin M. Wirth has been elevated to the position of Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the Federal Maritime Commission effective June 1, 2019.

Judge Wirth has served as an Administrative Law Judge at the Commission since 2010. Administrative Law Judges at the FMC preside over adjudicatory hearings resolving cases of alleged violations of the Shipping Act and other laws within the Commission’s jurisdiction. “Judge Wirth assumes her new duties well prepared to serve given her extensive experience at this agency, in the community, and in the legal profession more broadly,” said FMC Chairman Khouri.

Prior to joining the Federal Maritime Commission, Judge Wirth served as an Administrative Law Judge in the Social Security Administration. Her previous legal experience includes work as a litigator in both the public and private sectors. She is an alumna of the William & Mary Law School and Smith College. Judge Wirth succeeds former Chief Administrative Judge Clay Guthridge who retired last week following 38 years of service in the federal government, including the last 13 years at the Federal Maritime Commission.

House Committee Leaders Introduce FMC Authorization Act of 2019

Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Ranking Member Bob Gibbs (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize funds for, reinforce, and support the United States Coast Guard and the Federal Maritime Commission.

H.R. 3409, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 (CGAA 2019), is legislation that reauthorizes appropriations for the Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission through Fiscal Year 2021. The bill also includes regulatory improvements to promote the U.S. maritime industry and offshore renewable energy development, authorization of funding to build new polar security cutters (heavy ice breakers), new requirements for the Coast Guard to assess and evaluate unmanned technologies for potential use in Coast Guard operations, provisions to increase diversity at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and new maritime safety enhancements.

Section 701 of H.R. 3409 provides the title “Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 2019.” Section 702 provides increases to the authorization of appropriations for the FMC for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The authorized amounts are USD 29,086,888 for fiscal year 2020 and USD 29,639,538 for fiscal year 2021.

PierPass Fees at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Will Increase Effective August 1, 2019

Members of the West Coast Marine Terminal Operators Agreement (WCMTOA) announced that the PierPass fee will increase on August 1, 2019 by 1.9 percent, from USD 31.52 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), and USD 63.04 for all other container sizes to USD 32.12 per TEU, and USD 64.24 per FEU (forty-foot equivalent unit), respectively.

This fee is called the PierPass Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) and applies for both day and night cargo, across all hours of operation. The TMF applies to non-exempt containers; exempt containers include empty containers, import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, and transshipment cargo. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt from the TMF. PierPass does not set a fee for less than containerload shipments. NVOCCs who impose a PierPass fee for LCL shipments and/or a PierPass handling fee must file these fees in their FMC tariff rules, or clearly note these in their tariff rates or NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs).

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) first authorized The West Coast Marine Terminal Operators Agreement (WCMTOA) under FMC Agreement No. 201143 in June 2003. In 2005 the WCMTOA was amended to allow its members to create PierPass, Inc. and implement the “OffPeak program” to reduce severe cargo-related congestion on streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. OffPeak established regular weeknight night and Saturday work shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at marine terminals and implemented the PierPass TMF. In November 2018 FMC approved the change of the TMF to the current flat fee for container moves on all shifts, known as PierPass 2.0.

Transpacific Eastbound Carriers File GRIs Effective July 15 and August 1, 2019

Several leading carriers serving the Transpacific container trades have recently updated their respective tariffs to include new General Rate Increases (GRIs) effective July 15, 2019, including American President Lines (APL), CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant, Ocean Network Express (ONE), and Yang Ming. See table below for GRI amounts per 40ft container; GRI amounts for all other container sizes are as per formula. The July 15th GRIs will be the fourteenth GRI of 2019 for the East Asia/USA trade lane.

TRANSPACIFIC EASTBOUND (Asia to USA)
GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI)
Effective July 15, 2019
Carrier
in USD, per 40ft ctr
APL
1000
CMA CGM
1000
COSCO (see note 1)
800
Evergreen
1000
Hapag Lloyd
700
Hyundai
1000
ONE
1000
Yang Ming
1000

NOTE 1: COSCO GRIs apply on all cargo moving under service contracts only.

Some carriers have updated their tariffs to include new General Rate Increases (GRIs) effective August 1, 2019, including American President Lines (APL), CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant, Ocean Network Express (ONE), and Yang Ming. See table below for GRI amounts per 40ft container; GRI amounts for all other container sizes are as per formula. The August 1st GRIs will be the fifteenth GRI of 2019 for the East Asia/USA trade lane.

TRANSPACIFIC EASTBOUND (Asia to USA)
GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI)
Effective August 1, 2019
Carrier
in USD, per 40ft ctr
APL
1000
CMA CGM
1000
COSCO (see note 1)
800
Evergreen
1000
Hapag Lloyd
700
Hyundai
1000
ONE
1000
Yang Ming
1000

NOTE 1: COSCO GRIs apply on all cargo moving under service contracts only.

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