Q: What option do we have to avoid bankruptcy as freight forwarder hit by per-diem charges for container storage?
We are a freight forwarder and at the brink of filing for bankruptcy. Our client, the shipper, ran out of warehouse space to accept shipments and instead had the trucking company hold the containers for over three months. The shipping company charges detention or per-diem fees for the containers themselves until they are returned and up to $30k per container have been incurred so far. The client refuses to pay them.
We want to know what protection we have other than filing for bankruptcy as we are the consignee on the BOL. Will the shipping companies come after us or the shipper to recover those charges?
A: You should immediately consult an attorney to review all the contracts and any other paperwork. Without seeing the contracts, there is no way to answer your question.
It could be difficult to predict what the attorneys for MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, and HMM (or their outside counsel) would do. A law firm would likely want to see the cargo paperwork to determine the respective rights, obligations, legal remedies, and legal defenses of the various parties involved. You could reach out to California law firms to discuss - it could be helpful to a firm and probably economical to you to have an organized summary of communications and correspondence here. Good luck
Timothy Denison agrees with this answer
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