It is obvious that the congestion at the US ports is turning into a major problem. There are numerous factors that are contributing to the recent congestion issues. There are ongoing labor talks with the dockworkers. Capacity issues are becoming a factor. There are also times when no chassis is to be found for the cargo at the ports. As a result of the congestion, there was talk about new congestion surcharges coming from the carriers. However, a Journal of Commerce report with findings from the Federal Maritime Commission says the new surcharges will be slightly delayed. The reason for the delay stems from a dispute with the carriers. It seems that the carriers must prove that they need to have the surcharge for the purpose of covering real expenses, as per the rules.
Meanwhile, to deal with future port surcharges, the Federal Maritime Commission announced plans to launch a website that will allow shippers to monitor all of the coming ocean freight rate changes from the carriers. This is part of the initiative from the Federal Maritime Commission to monitor the shipping industry and make sure that the rules are followed correctly.
While the website is a nice touch to improve transparency, it might not be the best solution for the shippers who care about getting the best value for shipping. For shippers, it is still best to work with a trusted freight forwarder who can compare rates from the leading carriers nationwide. That way, the shipper receives a great deal and expert advice.