ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Intermodal Motor Carrier Conference (IMCC) this week filed suit with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The suit alleges that foreign-owned ocean shipping lines engaged in unjust and unreasonable conduct in violation of the U.S. Shipping Act, and that those unlawful actions have resulted in overcharges for truckers and their customers for intermodal container chassis at ports and inland terminals throughout the United States.
“For more than a decade, these foreign-owned companies have worked together to take advantage of hard-working American trucking companies,” said Bill Sullivan, ATA’s executive vice president for advocacy.
“By denying truckers choice of equipment providers at port and inland locations, these unscrupulous companies have been forcing American truckers and American consumers to subsidize their costs to the tune of nearly $1.8 billion — over the last three years alone,” he continued. “This must end, and after several attempts to come to a mutually beneficial resolution, we are now asking the FMC to resolve it.”
IMCC filed its complaint with the FMC Aug. 17, alleging that the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) and 11 ocean carriers have denied trucking companies the right of choice when leasing essential equipment, forcing unjust and unreasonable prices upon trucking companies. In an attempt to avoid legal action, IMCC sent a cease and desist letter to OCEMA in May. ATA says OCEMA failed to address the violations that were raised in the letter.
“By denying motor carriers their choice of chassis provider to haul goods in and out of ports, OCEMA’s overseas members have held US motor carriers hostage and forced them to subsidize the shipping lines,” said Randy Guillot, ATA Chairman and president of Triple G Express and Southeastern Motor Freight. “So far OCEMA and its members have rejected all of our attempts to reach a fair and equitable arrangement, but we believe they’ll have less success ignoring the FMC.”
In its complaint, the IMCC outlines a number of ongoing violations of the Shipping Act and is seeking injunctive relief against OCEMA and the shipping lines. To view the document, click here.
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