The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has concluded its review of the proposed OCEAN Alliance, FMC Agreement No 012426, allowing it to operate this week from October 24.
Today’s announcement follows an FMC review that examined the alliance to assure competition would not suffer, reported the American Journal of Transportation.
Commissioners and Commission staff took advantage of the opportunity to issue a Request for Additional Information, which necessitates the filing of further documentation in support of the application.
The OCEAN Alliance is comprised of Cosco, CMA CGM, Evergreen Marine and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (OOCL).
Agreement members are now permitted to share vessels; charter and exchange space on each other’s ships; and, enter into cooperative working arrangements in international trade lanes between the United States and ports in Asia, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Said FMC chairman Mario Cordero: “I applaud both Commission staff and the filing parties for not only their hard work, but the professional manner in which they addressed matters raised during the review process.”
Said Commissioner William Doyle: “Today I voted to allow the Ocean Alliance to become effective. The alliance agreement has significantly changed since its initial filing. The parties are limited in their ability to use their collective market power to jointly negotiate contracts with marine terminal operators.
“Importantly, the Ocean Alliance partners must negotiate independently with and enter into separate individual contracts with stevedores, tugs, barges, chassis providers and other third party service providers. This is the same type of language that exists in the 2M Alliance Agreement,” said Mr Doyle.