TRANSPACIFIC CARRIERS CANCEL CAPACITY MANAGEMENT TALKS
Senior shipping line executives of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement and the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement have canceled crucial meetings scheduled next week in Shanghai because of the temporary ban on flights from the U.S.
The two carrier groups were due to meet in China on Sept. 19 to approve a voluntary capacity management program to deal with the widening vessel capacity surplus in the forthcoming slack season.
According to a senior carrier executive in Asia, it is now unlikely that ocean carriers will seek to reduce capacity through the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a discussion agreement that comprises virtually all the major transpacific lines. Instead, global alliances and individual carriers would each reduce capacity, he said.
But Peter Frederiksen, chief commercial officer at Maersk Sealand, said that the meetings and the related discussions on capacity in the transpacific have been postponed until a new date and venue can be found.
Edward Emmett, president of the U.S. National Industrial Transportation League, welcomed the suspension of the capacity management plan.
“We’re pleased,” Emmett told American Shipper. Using the Ocean Shipping Reform Act for collective action on vessel capacity “is not living up to the spirit of the law,” he said. Emmett said that he had questioned both the legal acceptability and the wisdom of a potential collective carrier agreement on capacity.
Meanwhile, the chief executives of shipping lines that belong to the Far Eastern Freight Conference will meet in Shanghai on Sept. 20 to review a yet-to-be-approved voluntary capacity removal program in the over-tonnaged Asia/Europe trade.