NIT LEAGUE SURVEY RESULTS TO BE SENT TO OECD
Results of a National Industrial Transportation League survey on ocean carrier activities under conference and discussion agreements will be sent to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in early March.
The OECD will review the results as part of an on-going study focusing on the effects of antitrust immunity on the liner industry and on the shipping public.
In a letter sent to its members, the NIT League that while it saw “clear benefits” flowing from the U.S. Ocean Shipping Reform Act, the OECD study presents “a unique opportunity” to review the possibilities for “establishing an even more efficient and effective ocean transportation system.”
The survey requests shippers to state in percentage terms how rates have increased or decreased yearly between 1996 and 2000.
Shippers were asked to state how rates vary among members of conference and discussion agreements, ranking either “small” (1 to 5 percent), 'moderate' (5-10 percent) or 'substantial' (greater than 10 percent).
Respondents were also asked to:
* Specify whether rates offered by independent carriers varied slightly, moderately or substantially when compared to rates offered by members of conferences and discussion agreements.
* List rate levels for 2000-2001 compared to 1995-1996.
* Give their opinion on what would have happened to rates over the past five years if carriers were not allowed to collectively set or discuss rates under conference or discussion agreements.
* Tell if the number and kinds of surcharges have increased, decreased or stayed the same over the past five years, and whether conference and discussion agreement carriers deviate from each other on the surcharges they assess.
* State whether independent carriers generally impose surcharges that are publicly announced conference or discussion agreement.
Shippers asked to send their responses to the NIT League by Feb. 28. The names of the shippers replying will be kept “strictly confidential,” the NIT League said.