FMC stops clock on TSA capacity discussions
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has requested additional information from the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, effectively putting on pause discussion agreement members' ability to jointly discuss or reach agreement on controlling capacity deployed in the eastbound transpacific trade.
The FMC was originally slated to discuss the issue last Wednesday but the meeting was canceled because of poor weather. However, the three FMC commissioners voted by notation on Thursday to seek additional information rather than let the 14 carrier members of the agreement obtain that additional authority automatically on Feb. 1.
The commission’s request for additional information delays the effectiveness of an amendment to the discussion agreement that would allow members to discuss controlling capacity. Instead member lines must wait until 45 days after the TSA has submitted the requested information and documents.
The carriers wanted to amend the agreement so they could discuss and reach agreement on, among other things, a program to address ship capacity deployed in the eastbound transpacific trade.
The proposal has been opposed by a number of groups. For example, the National Industrial Transportation League said in its view, “that despite historic low levels of cargo moving in the trade, the authority to discuss vessel capacity levels is not necessary as this information is already publicly available.”
For more information on the TSA request, see the February American Shipper, pages 38-41. ' Chris Dupin