• Report: #1118652
Complaint Review:

Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.

  • Submitted: Sun, January 26, 2014
  • Updated: Sun, January 26, 2014

  • Reported By: M. P — East Kingston New Hampshire
Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.
1 Ascan Avenue Apartment 74 Forest Hills, Queens , New York USA

Sefco Export Management Company, Inc. Sefco Sefco Export GUILTY of Ripoff - Ordered to Pay Reparations by the Federal Maritime Commission Forest Hills, Queens New York

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Being a small registered charitable missions organization we decided to use Sefco Export after first checking their license and background with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Unfortunately, this was the beginning of wounded hearts and many woes that would cover a period of over 3 1/2 years. In the past we had shipped other full containers and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) trailers by means of over-the-road transport to Miami and then shipping by sea to ports in Central America with minimal to no problems encountered.

Mr. Quinn of Sefco deliberately and maliciously held hostage a full mission container from being shipped to Honduras (2nd poorest country in western hemesphere) all for the price of $315.00 of greed. The trucking company they used to collect our mission goods failed to show on the requested/appointed day to load; and then finally reported two days later, then turned around and charged us $315.00 for going over the load time caused by their "miscommunications". We refused to pay these charges because we had requested in writing a specific load day and time according to Sefco's pre-shipping requirements; and believed Sefco failed to properly inform the transportation company.

When Sefco held hostage our container at port in NY/NJ we had no other choice (at the time) but to pay the $315.00 and fight it out later in court, which is what we relayed to Sefco. Once Mr. Quinn learned they would be taken to court and sued, his company "stopped all cooperation" and in retalation placed our shipping container on hold. Mr. Quinn's total lack of professionalism, fiduciary duty, integrity and respect for the law caused additional demurrage charges to accumlate in the amount of $4,108.00 stateside and and additional $3,240.00 in Honduras. Sefco then wanted our organization to pay these charges as well.

Ultimately, our hearts were wounded when we lost the contents of the trailer in Honduras after months of petitions and pleading. Mr. Quinn's lack of common diginity caused two orphanages and a multitude of people to suffer mission relief efforts and cost our organization hundreds of dollars in lost man hours.

The following are actual excerpts from the final decision handed down by the Federal Maritime Commission on December 23, 2013.

F.   Violations of Section 10(d)(1)

      Section 10(d)(1) of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C. 41102(c) states that:

      (c) PRACTICES IN HANDLING PROPERTY. --A common carrier, marine terminal operator, or ocean transportation   intermediary may not fail to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property.  

     1. Sefco

     The SO (Federal Maritime Commission) determined that Sefco, an OFF (Ocean Freight Forwarder) acting as agent of its principal, Shekinah, did not handle the shipment with the legally required standard of care and did not fulfill its fiduciary duty to Shekinah. As a consequence, the SO found Sefco failed to observe just and reasonable regulations and practices, thereby violating Section 10(d)(1).

     Sefco's failure to provide bill of lading instructions prior to the cutoff dates imposed by WCT and ZIM, even after receiving a reminder from WCT, prevented the loading of the container on the originally scheduled vessel, causing demurrage fees. By e-mail dated July 8, 2010, Sefco advised WCT of its policy to stop all cooperation with a party/shipper upon notification that the shipper intends to sue Sefco. Sefco also asserted that it had performed all required tasks. The record, however shows that Sefco continued to instruct WCT to hold the container until Sefco received Shekinah's $315.00 payment, despite the container accruing demurrage fees in excess of $200.00 a day. Additionally, Sefco's failure to notify WCT to lift the hold on the container after receiving payment from Shekinah on July 14, 2010, prevented the loading of the container on July 15, 2010, leading to additional demurrage fees.

     As noted by the SO, freight forwarders have a duty to their shippers to ensure that carge is transported to its ultimate destination without unnecassary interruption. As the Commission noted in (Kobel), Freight forwarders have long been held to high standards of care and integrity because they are fiduciaries who are in unique position of trust and are able to inflict harm on their clients and on the shipping public. Here, Sefco failed to timely provide bill of lading instructions, misused its position as a freight forwarder, and allowed the imposition of excessive demurrage fees. Sefco's actions were failures to observe just and reasonable practices. We affirm the SO's finding that Sefco's actions were in violation of Section 10(d)(1).

The full Memorandum Opnion and Order can be found at the Federal Maritime Commission web site under "Informal Docket No. 1914(I).

I have never met Mr. Quinn personally, although we did cross paths at small claims court in Queens, NY when I requested an extension of a like case with the understanding I had petitioned the Federal Maritime Comission with an informal complaint against Sefco. I later let the case lapse due to the efforts being persued at the FMC. That does not mean I will not persue more filings to recover additional losses.   

I would encourage anyone seeking a cargo shippment by sea to steer FAR CLEAR of Sefco. If for no other reason than those inserted above citing the conduct of his business transactions.

DO NOT be fooled by the ambiguous web-site of Sefco. They have no office and no equipment and show no holdings other than Mr. Quinn's apartment located at 1 Ascan Avenue Apartment 74, Forest Hills Queens, NY. Information on his company and holdings can be aquired from the New York Secretary of States office and public records held in Queens, NY.

This is a two man show run by individuals who could care less about honesty, professionalism, integrity and moral character as evidenced from the documentation and findings handed down by the Federal Maritime Commission.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/26/2014 08:13 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sefco-export-management-company-inc/forest-hills-queens-new-york-11375-6086/sefco-export-management-company-inc-sefco-sefco-export-guilty-of-ripoff-ordered-to-pa-1118652. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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