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Proposed Ocean Carrier Alliance Gets More Scrutiny from FMC

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission is requesting additional information on the Ocean Alliance, a proposed agreement among four major vessel carriers that had been slated to take effect Aug. 29. FMC Commissioner William Doyle stated that he is concerned about “fair dealing and transparency in how the parties handle negotiations with third parties, suppliers, small businesses, and other service providers,” noting that the parties “using their proposed buying power through proposed joint purchasing agreements could harm both downstream and upstream participants.”

The proposed agreement consists of COSCO Container Lines Company, CMA-CGM (with APL), Evergreen Marine Corporation, and Orient Overseas Container Line. It would authorize participants to share vessels with one another, charter and exchange space on one another’s vessels, and enter into cooperative working arrangements in connection with their services and operations in the trades between Asia, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean, on the one hand, and the U.S., on the other hand.

Once the parties file the requested information the FMC will have 45 days to review it. Alliance members are looking to “go live” in or about April 2017.

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