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FMC to intensively monitor pricing and capacity tactics of ocean alliances

The independent federal agency of the United States, Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has announced enhanced monitoring of the three global container shipping alliances.

FMC said in its latest statement that "the three global ocean carrier alliances and each of their member companies will now be required to provide enhanced pricing and capacity information."

The commission noted it will use these uniform data to assess ocean carrier behaviour and marketplace competitiveness.

Below there is the list with the structure of the three container alliances:

  • 2M Alliance: Maersk and MSC
  • OCEAN Alliance: CMA CGM, COSCO and Evergreen
  • THE Alliance: Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, ONE and HMM

FMC added that 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 capacity management decisions of ocean carriers and alliances," said FMC in a statement.

The commissions explained that the changes are the result of a year-long examination by BTA to determine the data needed to properly analyse carrier behaviour and marketplace trends.

"Under the new requirements, carriers participating in an alliance will need to submit pricing information about the cargo they move on the major trade lanes, and both carriers and alliances will be mandated to submit comprehensive information related to capacity management," pointed out FMC.

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. According to the statement, information already collected includes detailed operational data, minutes from meetings among agreement principals, and regularly scheduled meetings with agreement parties where FMC 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. "Additional changes to requirements will be issued as warranted," noted FMC.

Antonis Karamalegkos
Managing Editor

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