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New monitoring requirements give US FMC more insight into alliance carrier operations

The three global ocean carrier alliances – 2M, Ocean and THE – and each of their member companies will now be required to provide enhanced pricing and capacity information, providing the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) with uniform data to use in assessing ocean carrier behaviour and marketplace competitiveness.

The newly mandated information will provide the commission’s Bureau of Trade Analysis (BTA) with insight into pricing of individual trade lanes and by container and service type. It will also provide more immediate information regarding the capacity-management decisions of ocean carriers and the alliances.

One of the key responsibilities of the commission, through the BTA, is to continuously monitor compliance with agreement authorities and to determine if agreements have an anticompetitive impact on the marketplace.

The three ocean carrier alliances are already subject to the most frequent and stringent monitoring requirements of any type of agreement on file at the commission. Information already collected includes detailed operational data, minutes from meetings among agreement principals, and regularly scheduled meetings with agreement parties where commission staff address issues of concern.

The commission assesses its reporting requirements on a continuous basis and adjusts the information it requires ocean carriers and alliances to file as circumstances and business practices change.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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