Maersk hit with $9.8m FMC fine 

WhatsApp Image 2023 06 11 at 12.24.35 PM

In the largest fine dished out since its powers were expanded last summer, a judge with Washington DC’s Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) hit Maersk subsidiary Hamburg Süd with a $9.8m penalty this week in a high-profile case that had been picked up last year by the mainstream press. 

OJ Commerce (OJC), a Florida-based furniture importer, filed a case with the FMC originally in 2021, and then again last year, hitting out at alleged price gouging, collusion and contract breaches.

OJC claimed Maersk failed to honour its contract, and when it complained the carrier simply cut the company off leaving OJC to navigate the hugely expensive spot market.

OJC was seeking $100m in damages but the FMC ruled that $9.8m was appropriate, a figure that is more than three times higher than any other FMC fines issued this year. 

“This case raises novel legal issues about refusal to deal claims, retaliation claims, and calculation of reparations. In addition, the parties disagree about many of the factual allegations. The parties heavily litigated this proceeding, with multiple motions to compel evidence filed. Indeed, both parties allege that the other party violated discovery requirements,” the FMC judge wrote. 



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