Intermodal carriers group files complaint with maritime commission

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The American Trucking Associations’ Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference has filed a complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission claiming that an ocean carrier regulated by the FMC wrongfully prevented a trucking company from conducting business with the steamship operator.

The complaint, filed on behalf of Transport Express, alleges that Sinotrans Container Lines Co. Ltd/Sinotrans Shipping Agency Inc. wrongfully terminated Transport Express’ interchange rights, which are necessary to conduct intermodal container transport under the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA).

IMCC and its member motor carriers assert that Sinotrans’ actions violate section 10 fairness provisions of the Shipping Act of 1984 that prohibit an ocean freight carrier from unreasonably refusing to deal or negotiate, and which require ocean carriers to observe just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to the movement and transfer of intermodal containers and property.

“Given the importance of the efficient movement of freight to the global economy, we must ensure that the rights and obligations of domestic motor carriers are adequately protected,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer.

“We’re seeking Federal Maritime Commission relief because abusive activities like those cited in this case are, unfortunately, all too commonplace in today’s maritime intermodal interchange regime,” says Curtis Whalen, IMCC executive director. “Regrettably, the UIIA has no dispute or enforcement mechanism and is proving to be wholly unsatisfactory in protecting the rights, risks and obligations of motor carriers operating in the intermodal container logistics network.”

IMCC is an affiliated conference within ATA and is open to ATA member companies engaged in intermodal truck transportation or businesses and services supporting intermodal transportation.