FMC signs off on NVO service arrangements
Non-vessel-operating common carriers can proceed with confidential contracts like their vessel-operating counterparts, now that the Federal Maritime Commission has issued a final rule on who can file those contracts.
The FMC's final ruling says the NVOs may begin filing NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) Oct. 28. The FMC initially ruled last year that individual NVOs could offer confidential contracts, but shippers associations with NVO members filed suit against the FMC and started the process for a more expansive ruling. NSAs are similar to the service contracts offered by steamship lines.
The integrator NVOs who originally led the charge for confidential contracts never opposed the concept of shippers associations filing NSAs, but those companies delayed their own contract negotiations with shippers until the FMC issued a final ruling on the issue.
'We want to see the final ruling,' said David Bolger, spokesman for UPS, which was the first company to start the legal challenge leading to NSAs. 'On the face of it, we just want to file our own confidential contracts, and this will still allow us to do that. We were not opposed to the shippers associations.'