Background

The Federal Maritime Commission announced May 5 that it will gather additional information to help assess ocean carrier behavior and marketplace competitiveness.

Specifically, the three global ocean carrier alliances (2M, OCEAN, and THE) and each of their member companies will now be required to provide comprehensive information related to capacity management. Alliance member carriers will also need to submit pricing information about cargo they move on the major trade lanes.

The FMC noted that one of its key responsibilities is to continuously monitor compliance with agreement authorities and determine if agreements have an anticompetitive impact on the marketplace. To that end, the three alliances are already subject to the most frequent and stringent monitoring requirements of any type of agreement on file, the FMC said, with information collected including detailed operational data, minutes from meetings among agreement principals, and regularly scheduled meetings with agreement parties where commission staff address issues of concern.

However, the newly mandated information will provide the FMC’s Bureau of Trade Analysis with additional insights into pricing of individual trade lanes and by container and service type. It will also provide more immediate information regarding capacity management decisions of ocean carriers and alliances.

ST&R offers a wide range of FMC-related services, including help addressing unreasonable shipping charges. For more information, please contact Jason Kenner (at (212) 549-0137 or via email), Andy Margolis (at (305) 894-1021 or via email), or Ned Steiner (at (202) 730-4970 or via email.)

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