Federal Maritime Commission now evaluating Transpacific carrier agreements

Carriers otherwise known as "Flags of Convenience" are being investigated

By ·

The ongoing trend of consolidation in the ocean cargo carrier arena is being confronted with more scrutiny by regulatory agencies.

Two agreements related to the west coast and trade flows between the United States and Asia were addressed this week by the Federal Maritime Commission, as were recent developments regarding government linked ocean carriers.

The Commission was briefed in open session on updates to the list of "Controlled Carriers", those ocean common carriers that are majority owned or controlled by foreign governments.

The Commission is charged with monitoring foreign government control of ocean shipping lines. The FMC maintains a list of these companies which is periodically updated as circumstances warrant.

  • Recent consolidation in the container shipping industry has resulted in these notable changes among Controlled Carriers:
  • China Shipping was integrated into COSCO Container Lines Company, Limited, which then changed its name to COSCO SHIPPING Lines Co, Ltd.
  • American President Lines, Ltd. and APL Co., Pte. is being removed from this list because it is now wholly owned by CMA CGM S.A. and no state entity is a majority owner
  • United Arab Shipping Company Ltd. (formerly United Arab Shipping Company (S.A.G.)) is being removed from this list because it is now wholly owned by Hapag-Lloyd and no state entity is a majority owner 
  • Hainan P O Shipping Co., Ltd. is being removed from the list because it no longer operates in the U.S.-Foreign trades
  • COSCO SHIPPING Lines Co., Ltd. and CNAN Nord SPA remain on the Controlled Carrier List.

The Commission went to closed session to receive confidential reports on the Trans-Pacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) and the West Coast Marine Terminal Operators Agreement (WCMTOA).

The FMC reviews agreements under the Shipping Act to assure that participating parties do not engage in anticompetitive behavior that results in unreasonable increases in rates or decreases in service, or other prohibited acts.

The Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for September.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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