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

While there are apparent benefits to switching from diesel fuel to natural gas in terms of promised climate benefits, they come with a catch according to a research paper recently researched by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The popularity of cloud computing has consumed headlines ranging from fear and doubt, to claims of being the ultimate answer to all software applications in the enterprise. You may be asking yourself, what's the real story? Download the white paper, WMS in the Cloud, today to find out if cloud computing is right for your business.

A well-designed driver wellness program could make the job more attractive and help alleviate driver turnover.

Download this new white paper to understand vital (and complex) customs requirements and competitive strategies for business shipping through the US/Canada border.

The trend of rising weekly diesel prices remains intact, with the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting this week that the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline increased 1 cent to $2.914 per gallon.

Article Topics

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

Comments

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


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA