HMM hits back after Samsung D&D complaint with court claim for unpaid fees

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The HMM Dublin, the largest container ship in the world in the port of Hamburg. A ship for the transport of goods which reflects the globilisation and the upswing.

HMM has turned the legal cannons on Samsung Electronics America (SEA), seeking $13m in unpaid shipping fees via the US District Court for the Central District of California.

The South Korean carrier’s court filing follows SEA claims, through the FMC, against not only HMM, but also Cosco, OOCL, SM Line and Zim, for millions of dollars.

The filing to the California court notes: “Despite due demand by HMM, defendant SEA breached its contractual obligations by failing to make timely payment of demurrage, detention and other charges.”

It added that SEA “manifested its agreement to the terms and conditions of carriage” through a series of actions, not least of which was a “multi-year course of conduct” where it accepted delivery of goods in the US and paid for the services to which it is now objecting.

Those charges pertain to services HMM claims were covered under the carrier’s standard bill of lading, to which SEA is bound, and carried out between 1 January 2023 and 30 June 2024.

This latest legal move comes 20 days after SEA lodged its largest complaint yet with the FMC, arguing HMM imposed some 96,000 “erroneous” detention and demurrage charges, which could add up to some $7m, based on multiplying 96,000 by $75 (the lower end of D&D pricing, which can hit $300 per box per day).

With shippers now also facing legal action, it may be a stern test of the US’s bipartisan 2022 Ocean and Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), which has provoked a cascade of complaints this year.

Shippers have lodged some 30 claims, totaling at least $67m, although many lacked an actual dollar figure, according to an investigation conducted by The Loadstar.

Source: The Loadstar