FMC probing U.S./Oceania liner trades
• CMA CGM carriers to join U.S./Oceania VSA
• Hamburg S'd, Maersk to cooperate in U.S./Australasia trade
The Federal Maritime Commission has decided to investigate the rates, practices and competitive conditions in the U.S./Oceania liner trade, a move that follows a number of recent service network and vessel capacity realignments.
The comprehensive review has been initiated by the FMC due to competition concerns raised while reviewing an amendment to the U.S. Pacific Coast'Oceania Agreement (FMC Agreement No. 011741-012), a vessel sharing agreement between A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, ANL Singapore, Hamburg S'd and Hapag-Lloyd. The amendment adds CMA CGM and ANL as a single party and revises vessel operations among other changes.
“The commission determined not to delay the effectiveness of the amendment, with Commissioner (Joseph) Brennan dissenting from this decision. Collectively the commission expressed serious concerns regarding the substantial market power that the parties may exercise through the combination of their ability to restrain capacity under this Amendment and their corresponding authority to agree upon rates through participation in related rate discussion agreements already operational in the trades,” the FMC said in a statement.
According to ComPair Data (www.compairdata.com), American Shipper’s affiliated global liner services database, there are only seven carriers offering a total of six dedicated container services.