Dealing with unfair billing is essential in making the supply chain better. The Federal Maritime Commission is working on making life better for truckers. They have taken a proactive approach to try and get a solution. The truckers and their partners are also hopeful for a positive outcome. They feel there are unfair billing practices that need to be dealt with. They are more concerned about assessing and collecting detention and demurrage charges.

The State of Billing and FMC's Proposal

At the moment, the billing state is not suitable for truckers. Many trucking associations, including ATA, support FMC's proposal. According to Transport Topics, FMC seeks to expand timelines to allow truckers more time. FMC also wants to be more transparent when it comes to billing. There is also a need to clarify who bears such charges. Those are the grey areas concerning ocean carriage and freight storage.

FMC proposes that such bills should only go to those in a contract for ocean carriage and freight storage. They believe that if these bills are directed to those in contract, the supply chain will be even better. There will be more clarity and consistency within the supply chain. A contract means that all involved parties will be committed to performing well. They will work on time to resolve conflicts and secure the commercial relationship.

Contracts clearly outline the outcomes of the commercial relationship. Everyone has to lose if they don't work within the contract. However, there is no contract between ocean carriers and trucking firms. It means that there are no negotiated rates. There needs to be a structured way to handle disputes. Truckers have to deal with unfair billing since there is no commercial agreement. They need tons of evidence to be waived for any unfair charges.

If ocean carriers send invoices directly to customers, there would be more transparency. They won't need to hold truckers hostage at all. Dispute handling will be even better, and bills will be accurate. The current status is not good, and change is key to turning it around. Ocean carriers must deal directly with those in contract with them, not truckers. If passed, this rule will do well for the truckers and the supply chain at large.

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