Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Ocean cargo: The Shipping Act of 2010 signals end to cartels

The bill also will empower the FMC to mediate contract disputes…something shippers have long waited for
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 23, 2010

As widely expected, the Federal Maritime Commission is likely to be given more authority next year to end ocean carrier pricing collusion.

The Shipping Act of 2010, introduced by Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., yesterday will abolish carrier antitrust immunity and prevent carrier executives from convening so-called “discussion groups” used to formalize rate strategy.

The bill also will empower the FMC to mediate contract disputes…something shippers have long waited for.

“The carrier’s freewheeling market share approach to contracts is what took rates down in the first place,” said Jon Monroe, president of Monroe Consulting in Shanghai. “But the real frustration was the lack of communication and the lack of a real partnership.”

As reported in LM, a draft of this bill had been endorsed by a large coalition of shippers this summer. U.S. exporters of agricultural goods had been especially vocal in their support of legislation that might also encourage carriers to provide more containers for westbound deployment.

Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, apparently had been listening.

“Even under the current regulatory scheme, immunity for agreements has long outlived its usefulness,” he said in a statement.

Michael Berzon, chairman of the National Industrial Transportation League’s ocean committee, told LM last month that U.S.shippers were making a compelling argument.

“If enacted, the end of the limited anti-trust immunity would follow the action taken by European regulators,” he said.  “Since the elimination of the EU Block Exemption, it prohibits consultation by groups of carriers to discuss rates in the European trades.”

About the Author

image
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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The 'Internet of Things' or IoT is a term that has rapidly taken center stage in business and consumer technology circles, with tremendous amounts of hype in both. Don't be distracted if some of the hypothetical consumer examples of the IoT seem far-fetched; the trend has serious implications for businesses. This complimentary whitepaper takes a look at some of the opportunities afforded by the Internet of Business Things.

Of special interest to readers of Logistics Management will be “Americas Update,” which will look into the future of the market in the Americas and assess how firms will be able to favorably position themselves to compete and win market share.

After 20 years, two congressional mandates and countless lawsuits and lobbying efforts, safety advocates and the Teamsters union still say there are too many inexperienced rookie truck drivers hitting the road without sufficient behind-the-wheel training.

Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.

Southern California shippers are getting a break on container dwell expenses for the next ten days as the Port of Long Beach announced that it had added an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge.

Article Topics

News · Container · Transportation · Trade · Shipping · Exports · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA