Home » The New FMC Detention & Demurrage Rules and the Impact on Shippers

The New FMC Detention & Demurrage Rules and the Impact on Shippers

by | Jun 20, 2024 | Blog Post

This exclusive episode of the Freight Buyers Club, hosted by Mike King and created with the support of Dimerco Express Group, features an in-depth interview with Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Daniel Maffei. He discusses the recent changes in the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) detention and demurrage rules. These changes are a significant shift in the logistics landscape.


As of May 28th, new regulations require common carriers and marine terminal operators to provide detailed billing practices, ensuring transparency and fairness in detention and demurrage charges. This blog will unpack these changes and provide insights on how shippers can navigate this new regulatory environment effectively.


Key Changes in the FMC Rules

The new FMC rule mandates that:

  1. Bills for detention and demurrage charges must contain sufficient information to allow shippers to understand the basis of the charges.
  2. These bills must be issued within 30 days of the applicable charge.
  3. Shippers have 30 days to dispute any charges, although disputes can still be raised beyond this period if necessary.

These changes aim to enhance clarity and accountability, ensuring that shippers are not unfairly burdened by excessive or unwarranted charges.

Implications for Shippers

For shippers, these new regulations mean a greater need to closely monitor their supply chains. It is essential to:

  • Review Bills Carefully: Ensure that all charges are justified and accurate. The FMC’s requirement for detailed billing means that shippers should have all the information they need to verify charges.
  • Maintain Supply Chain Visibility: Keep track of shipments to ensure that goods are moving as expected and that containers are returned promptly. Utilizing third-party logistics providers (3PLs) can help manage this process more efficiently.
  • Be Proactive in Dispute Resolution: If discrepancies are found, shippers should not hesitate to dispute charges. The new rules provide a clear process for doing so within the 30-day window.

Support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

One significant concern is whether SMEs have equal access to the dispute mechanisms provided by the FMC. FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei emphasized that while the FMC cannot provide special financial assistance, it does offer robust enforcement mechanisms. The FMC’s Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) can guide SMEs through their options, ensuring that all shippers have the resources they need to address disputes fairly.

Explore Solutions with Dimerco Express Group

The FMC’s new rules on detention and demurrage charges are a significant step towards greater transparency and fairness in the logistics industry. By staying informed and proactive, shippers can navigate these changes effectively, ensuring smoother operations and better cost management. Dimerco remains committed to supporting its clients through these transitions, providing timely insights and reliable services to optimize their supply chain management.

Visit this page to view other episodes of the Dimerco Freight Buyer’s podcast, which is produced for anyone with a professional interest in international trade, shipping, procurement, logistics, and air cargo. The podcast features leading decision-makers, analysts, journalists, operators, and shippers who share their take on current freight and logistics markets and the challenges and opportunities.

Need help navigating today’s ocean freight market or any global logistics challenge? Reach out to Dimerco for solutions and expert guidance. Our team is ready to navigate these challenges and ensure resilience against potential supply chain risks.