The Federal Maritime Commission in the US has now approved the creation of new container grouping THE Alliance after the five members changed some of the language of their founding set-up.
THE Alliance brings together Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, MOL, NYK, and Yang Ming.
Commissioner William Doyle from the FMC commented: “After receiving substitute language from the parties, key authorities in THE Alliance agreement are now directly on par with authorities contained in the other second generation alliance agreements of 2M and the OCEAN Alliance. This follows the framework I have supported whereby alliance members must negotiate independently with American businesses such as tugs, barges, stevedores, chassis providers, container equipment lessors, bunker suppliers and other third party service providers in the US. On commercial matters the parties can gain significant efficiencies by jointly discussing operational matters. I believe this balances the ocean carriers’ economic needs to gain operational efficiencies while the FMC exercises its duty to foster a vibrant domestic maritime sector for the American businesses, families, and workers that rely upon it.”
Doyle was also happy that THE Alliance had included back-up plans in case any of its members go bankrupt.
“The Hanjin bankruptcy served as a wakeup call to carriers and shippers, and THE Alliance’s efforts to create a mechanism to keep cargo moving in the event of another carrier bankruptcy demonstrates that carriers and alliances have heard the concerns of the shipping public and are working to create commercial solutions to address those concerns,” Doyle said.
THE Alliance is set to start in April next year, the same time that another new grouping, the Ocean Alliance, comprising Evergreen, China Lines, OOCL and CMA CGM, also kicks off.