SINOTRANS ASKS FMC FOR CONTROLLED CARRIER EXEMPTION
China National Foreign Trade Transportation (Group) Corp., known as Sinotrans, has asked the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission for permission to have the ability to match competing carriers’ rates on 24 hour’s notice.
As a controlled carrier, Sinotrans is prohibited from reducing its rates to meet those of competing carriers without approval of such authority from the FMC, and must wait 30 days before matching a competitor's rates.
Sinotrans argued that such a situation reduces its ability to offer competitive rates and service options.
In its filing, Sinotrans is seeking to be placed on an equal footing with another controlled carrier Chinese carrier, China Ocean Shipping Co. Sinotrans said its request is identical to COSCO’s request to match competitors rates which has been approved by the FMC.
' In that ruling, Sinotrans noted, the FMC said its approval of COSCO’s request might be unfair to other controlled carriers. The FMC also found that giving COSCO the right to match competitors’ rates on one day’s notice would not be anticompetitive or detrimental to commerce.
Sinotrans said if it is not granted the same right as COSCO and other carriers, the impact of such a disparity on Sinotrans and its customers would be “unnecessarily severe.”
Forbidding Sinotrans the right to match competitors’ rates on one day’s notice would not further the purposes of the controlled carrier act and would frustrate the intent of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to place a greater reliance on the marketplace, said David P. Street, Sinotrans’ attorney.
The FMC is giving the public two weeks to respond to the Sinotrans petition. The case is in FMC docket P2-00.